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BCBGMaxAzria’s Deco Minimalism

Godfrey Deeny
September 08th, 2011 @ 10:55 AM - New York

The austere purity of minimalism and the eclectic graphics of Art Deco might seem like distant, even antagonistic aesthetics, but in the latest runway show by BCBGMaxAzria they married happily. And for next spring – if not forever after – they will make for a winning couple.

Staged in Lincoln Center on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 8, the opening day of shows in the eight-day New York fashion season, this spring 2012 collection had all the purity one associates with this Los Angeles-based brand, but with a winning new dose of decorative glamour.

Made in mixes of silk crepe and georgette, these semi-sheer clothes were cut with lots of openings and slashes, exposing shoulders, thigh and neck. But though revealing the look was never cheap, always on the right side of feminine.

The design duo of founder Max Azria and his wife and creative muse Lubov have a subtle take on fashion but also one that does not shy away from the racy. Theirs are never clothes for the shy and retiring.

Created in a Pop Art palette of lemongrass, emerald, coral and jade, the collection worked best when the color blocking was mixed up with graphic embroidery, and the clothes cut with Fortuny style prints. Rivulets of beads and repetitive jagged print detailing cleverly imparted a posh arty Deco touch.

A few hooded safari tops and sporty bomber jackets did look a clumsy, breaking the rhythm of this cool debut to the collections in Manhattan. This was a show on a slow boil that bubbled beautifully at the finale, with our favorite look, a particularly elegant emerald embroidered cocktail worn by Arizona Muse, a Santa Fe, New Mexico born classy beauty.

Otherwise, this show was a pretty flawless display of how to present clean, elegant America chic, with a great choice of young models by Russell Marsh, the man most industry professional regard as the best casting director in fashion, and a fine styling by Laura Ferrara, whose honest editing of this collection was truly admirable.

May this union continue.

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