Every season, designer Max Azria has found a way to reinvent the classic bandage dress that catapulted the Hervé Léger line to fame. For Fall 2012, the silhouette was given an equestrian spin, wrapped in leather body harnesses and wide belts paired with knee-high leather gladiator boots. Check out the python prints and gold accessories that were also seen on the runway right here.
>> The leather harnesses that made an occasional appearance in the Hervé Léger Pre-Fall collection were out in full force for Fall 2012. They came in nearly every incarnation — brown, black, metallic, corset-like, or full-torso — and adorned nearly every look. They added an element of toughness to the line's ubiquitous bandage dresses, which, this season, came patterned in geometric panels, emblazoned with crystals, or spliced with intricate prints. Also adding toughness: strict leather vests, jet-black fur, and laser-cut fabrics.
An architectural aesthetic, specifically Bauhaus style, rules for BCBG's Fall 2012 collection. Structure manifested itself via colorblocking, but it was done on fluid silk chiffon shift dresses, so the effect was a pretty blend of strong forms on flowy silhouettes. The geometric shapes created by bold color combos — black and orange, merlot and blush — were intensified with textural plays like sheer insets and clever pleating that made dresses look magically fluid and sharp at the same time. To counter the collection's emphasis on lightweight materials like silk and chiffon, it also sent cozy outerwear down the runway — we have mixed emotions on the return of gorilla-armed coats, but the multicolor fur vests and canvas and leather trenches were artful choices for next season. The minimalist approach to geometric forms and bold color combinations, together with the flowy silhouettes, make for clothes that are ideal to wear to a gallery opening.
- Trends: Colorblocking, fur, architectural detail, Bauhaus.
- Colors: Merlot, blush, camel, cream, navy, coral, teal.
- Key Piece: The canvas and leather trench coat; the super-cool pleated dresses with tulle inserts.
- Accessories: Open-toe ankle-strap sandals, bags with contrasting textures like snake and suede.
- Who Would Wear It: Erin Wasson was in the front row, but the structured, urbane collection seems more suited to Naomi Watts or Thandie Newton.
>> Geometry played a big part in BCBG's Fall 2012 collection, via colorblocking, carefully constructed details like sheer insets and leather trim, and a focus on proportions. It was an artful collection thanks to rich mixes of even richer colors — paprika, merlot, rust, and coral — and simple, streamlined silhouettes.
>> For BCBG this season, it's all about the eyes — and we've got the first look. We went behind the scenes at the label's Fall 2012 preshow test to get the inside scoop on what we can expect beauty-wise — and otherwise — at this week's show. "Because of the clothing — very fluid, with colorblock, fur, and a bit of '40s — and in order not make everything look retro, we have to keep the look very simple," Maybelline's global makeup artist, Charlotte Willer, who directed this season's concept, explained. "It's about beautiful skin; a soft, dewy look. Then, it's a lightly filled-in eyebrow, a simple smudge of eyeliner on the top eyelid, and a little bit of brown-gray shadow smudged on top of that. Then lip balm, and that's it."
Get a closer look at the BCBG preshow process — and see Willer work her makeup magic — below, in this behind-the-scenes video. Watch closely for cameo appearances by Max and Lubov Azria, the Bumble & Bumble hair team, and as an added bonus, a quick little peek at the Fall 2012 runway shoes.
Photo and video courtesy of Thomas Beckner
>> The shiny warrior princesses Max Azria offered up for Spring have found a slightly softer side in Pre-Fall 2012. Sure, they're still marching about in gladiator shoes, leather harnesses, and bandage dresses, but this time around the shoes are high-heeled, the harnesses are whip-thin, and the dresses are vivid in jewel tones, stripes, and sunset ombres. Though silhouettes remain just as body-con as ever, there are also a few surprises to be had: flippy skirts that flare at the hip, smooth-shouldered jackets, and a skintight dress with an airy, drapey train.
The fun of New York Fashion Week kicked off over the course of the last day, with Rachel Zoe attending designer Mimi Plange's presentation last night at the Asia Society before moving on to the Missoni for Target launch. This morning, BCBGMAXAZRIA brought out a handful of starlets — check out our BCBGMAXAZRIA show review! Jordana Brewster, Elisha Cuthbert, and Sophia Bush made a photogenic trio in the front row. Sophia hung out backstage before the models took to the catwalk, and she evidently liked what she saw — at the sight of one dress, she mouthed to a pal, "Wow!" She was equally full of praise on Twitter, writing, "My favorite collection of theirs for years! Stunning." Vanessa Hudgens was also spotted milling around the tents at Lincoln Center this afternoon, and Rachel was out again to guest judge the Fourth Annual Supima Design Competition with Coco Rocha. We're covering all the stylish fun, so make sure to stay tuned to all our Fashion Week coverage!
>> With Sarah Jessica Parker, Harvey Weinstein, Marios Schwab, and now board member Tamara Mellon no longer involved with Halston, and rumors of clashes between the remaining board members, brand owners Hilco Consumer Capital are looking for a strong figure to help rebuild the brand, which is now focusing solely on the contemporary Halston Heritage line.
Max Azria put in a bid for Halston when a sale or additional investment was being considered by Hilco, and although neither panned out, the dealings may have provided the leader Halston is looking for: Ben Malka, who has been president of BCBG Max Azria Group since 2001, is said to be close to joining the brand to head up the Heritage business — and he may be bringing Marie Mazelis, creative director of Herve Leger and Max Azria, with him. Mazelis has confirmed that she plans to leave BCBG Max Azria Group, but would not comment on her next move: “I haven’t made a final decision yet.” Malka, for his part, denied that he was joining Halston on Friday.
The Summer sales just keep coming, and the latest one has us in designer euphoria: Net-A-Porter just kicked off its end of season sale today filled with delectable Spring and Summer goods slashed up to 50 percent off! Of course, prices aren't dirt cheap, but now's the time to invest in that piece you've been swooning over all season long. Think fresh footwear from the likes of Proenza Schouler and Alexander Wang, along with pretty dresses from Max Azria and bags from Stella McCartney. That, plus more of our favorite sale finds in the shoppable slideshow.