September 04, 2007
"If I wasn't in fashion, I'd probably be surfing," Yigal Azrouël said in an interview in advance of his show. The designer, who is building a house in Costa Rica, took inspiration from his favorite sport as well as from the "water and rusticity" of his South American travels for his Spring collection, which featured muted shots of neon and tie-dye-style prints. He worked plaids, stripes, and ginghams into classics like shirtdresses and Henleys that were designed and styled to look as if they had been lived incuffs were rolled, edges unfinished, tees made to appear moth-eaten. These details successfully conveyed the relaxed mood Azrouël was after, but other looks were more contrived. It's hard to imagine the "cool New York woman" the designer said he had in mind shelling out for a tuxedo vest with the stuffing coming out of the shoulder. And the bandaging effects on Azrouël's hand-wrapped jute dresses are past their sell-by date. Drapey, Grecian-style dresses, on the other hand, were sophisticated without being stuffy. In the end, though, it felt like the designer was treading water with a collection that had its pleasant moments but didn't attain the crisp focus of his last outing.