HERVE LEGER BY MAX AZRIA AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK
There are only so many ways to spin—ahem, wrap—a bandage dress. Hervé Léger designers Max and Lubov Azria understand this. There’s not much wiggle room in the dresses or in the variations of the designs (although they happen to be lucrative, and enticing to women who want to be snug as a bug and bulge-less). But with fresh inspiration every season, Mrs. Azria will always try to bring something new to a table that is preset.
For Fall, it was her trip last September to Antoni Gaudí’s famed La Sagrada Família cathedral in Barcelona. She photographed, studied, and generally worshipped every detail, color, form, bird, frog, and leaf the Art Nouveau artist created, and then paid reverent homage on the runway. Sequins, grommets, and laces re-created intricate patterns seen around the church across brightly colored dresses. Pictures Mrs. Azria took, including those of the building’s ceiling and back facade, were digitized and turned into body-binding knit jacquards. Even the miniature wood cathedral models Gaudí built were painstakingly translated into sandy colored strap-and-clasp dresses.
There were additions to the lineup, most notably a tendency toward covering up. Jacquard dresses seemed more polite peeking out under matching oversize bombers or shearling matador jackets; a long shearling in deep jewel blue had polish. There were also plenty of long-sleeve (albeit second-skin) T-shirts layered under bandage dresses because, Mrs. Azria said in her studio a day before the show, “not everyone wants to be exposed.” Perhaps, but certainly the fact that bondage is currently having its most mainstream moment has got to mean something for bandage, too.