The show notes at BCBG Max Azria cited the geometric abstraction of the Bauhaus, but that only told you half the story—that of the surface. The shapes that underpinned the collection relied heavily on the loose-limbed look of seventies American sportswear. There were belted trenches, languid wide-leg jersey trousers, and loads of midi-length color-blocked and paneled dresses, either flaring with pleats or cut straight like a long T-shirt and slit up the sides. In fact, as has been the case for several seasons, Max and Lubov Azria placed most of their chips on the frock sector. Practice makes perfect; there were many here that will appeal to their customer. The sporty color-blocking is a trend the Azrias have been riffing on for a few seasons, and here it was given depth by colorful contrasting pleats, though the new direction didn't feel as identifiably their own.

Whether intentional or not, the dress-centric nature of this collection cast other categories into supporting roles. But the smattering of outerwear made up for its rarity by really laying on the luxury. And who needs a sweater (there were none here) when you've got coats with leather and fur sleeves? BCBG has vowed to weather a pair of recent credit downgrades, and here was evidence of heads held high.