Yigal Azrouel – Pre Spring Summer 2016 Ready To Wear
Print and texture made up the main story in Yigal Azrouël’s new collection. In general, he hewed to measured, familiar silhouettes this season and used graphic pattern and surface detail to give his clothes a sense of novelty and dynamism—a tactic that served him well, particularly when it came to the prints. Azrouël had two key prints here, one a wallpaper-y acanthus repeat, the other comprised of painted whorls. In both cases, he didn’t hold back regarding color, making the pieces where the prints appeared into take-it-or-leave-it propositions. A woman will either vibe on a silk tee or a trim jumpsuit done in two contrasting colorways of the designer’s acanthus print, or she won’t. But the garments didn’t lack for punch. Other, extra-decorous looks had more universal appeal: There will always be a customer for a tailored white blouse with hand-embroidered cutouts in a version of Azrouël’s acanthus pattern, or for a motorcycle jacket with sheer sleeves embroidered in swirling ropes of leather. Ditto the cap-sleeve red gown, gathered gently at the waist and punctuated by insertions of lace ribbon. The accessibility of these clothes, though, came at the cost of their being a bit safe. Meanwhile, the best items were the ones that were nervy without being loud, like the cropped flares with soft pleats at the side, or a loose white blouse cut out at the shoulders. These pieces showed off Azrouël’s flair for the architectural and his sense of the urbane. It was nice to see him striking a more feminine tone this season. But “demure” isn’t really his thing.