January 22, 2011 Paris
One of New York's—really, America's—contributions to the world of style is the elevation of the casual, and it's this more slouching energy that Azrouël's Fall collection manifests. That makes for clothes that are quite wearable, and this offering, with its introduction to the global scene of both YA staples (the slightly drop-crotch tapered pant, the oversize layering pieces) and some sharp new suiting, was especially shopper-friendly. "The whole concept is a guy who's very artistic, who has a style," he explained. "He's not someone who follows a trend." (Though the designer's own takes on some key pieces for Fall, like the cable-knit sweater, were among the best pieces here.)
The commitment to the casual caused the show's energy to flag in places. Azrouël explained that one of his main reference points was Jean-Michel Basquiat. (Coincidentally, a retrospective of the late artist's work at the Musée d'Art Moderne currently has Parisians lining up around the block.) Basquiat was famously stylish but also famously fierce, especially in his art. That would make for a fine model. Today, Azrouël brought a dose of New York cool to Paris. Next season, he may want to turn up the heat.