February 15, 2011 New York
In his studio before the show, Azrouël explained that the recent move of his men's runway to Paris had occupied him a great deal in the preceding months; he'd been thinking men's and thinking French. And sure enough, there was a boyish, gamine quality to the collection he showed at Lincoln Center this morning. It was premised on a cropped pant—in pop-colored orange, pink, and Yves Klein blue, as well as piped tuxedo versions in wool and velvet-trimmed leather—and some menswear-inspired outerwear (a plaid, shearling-trimmed number he called a "granddad" coat, and a short, sharp car coat in radioactive orange). Following the ethereal lightness of Spring, these sporty pieces felt like a pull back down to earth. Azrouël, more than some of his contemporaries, has the courage of his convictions: He follows his inspirations moment to moment, season to season, in whatever direction they lead. This time—aside from a few missteps like the sheer feathered dresses—his instincts led him to a strong and very wearable collection.