Françoise Hardy was the cited inspiration for the collection Yigal Azrouël
showed this afternoon, and if that's not exactly a novel choice of muse, Azrouël made up for it by seizing on a compelling aspect of Hardy's personality. "I was really interested in her sense of privacy," the designer explained after the show. "There was an attitude with her, even when she was out in public, that there was a part of herself she kept hidden." To capture that sense of private-publicness, Azrouël produced a collection more covered up than usual for him. Dress and skirt silhouettes were modest and narrow; key looks included a floor-length, python-print silk gown with long sleeves, and an aubergine wool pencil dress, likewise long-sleeve, with some suggestive (and forgiving) volume about the hips. The look was very clean.
Elsewhere, Azrouël did nice work with his signature leathers—an evergreen-toned leather suit, in particular, looked simultaneously easygoing and slick—and with fur. The long fur parka had a winning casual air. But the most interesting pieces at today's show were the ones Azrouël made from a cool, compressed wool, such as that aubergine dress. The material lent itself to sculpting, and the designer took advantage of that to give familiar silhouettes an unexpected kick. To wit, his white hooded sweatshirt and slouchy trouser combination came off, in the wool, like the world's most elegant tracksuit. It's hard to imagine Françoise Hardy wearing that look, but she surely would have appreciated its insouciant glamour.