Kicking off this year's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, Max and Lubov Azria showed their "deconstructed and reconstructed" Spring 2014 collection at Lincoln Center on Thursday. It's somewhat of a retrospective in celebration of their label BCBGMAXAZRIA's 25-year anniversary next year, the legendary design couple said backstage.
"I'm very happy because I like this collection very much," Max Azria told International Business Times after the show. The male half of the duo, whose label BCBG stands for “bon chic, bon genre” or “good style, good attitude," explained that the collection was conceived after the designers went through the BCBG archives from the past quarter-century, breaking pieces and key concepts of the brand down to their silhouettes and bringing a "fresh, cool" modernity to Spring 2014.
The collection was divided into two groups, beginning with a neutral palette of chambray and blush with pops of a summery white before a subtle -- albeit brief -- transition section of blush pieces speckled with navy-blue watercolor prints. These four looks of the 32-look collection paved the way for the final 12 designs, heavy on black with multi-colored abstract florals and textured embroidery.
The silhouettes were more simple, loose-fitting and breezier than BCBG and Herve Leger (its bandage dress counterpart label) normally does, and even boxy in some instances, which by no means meant unflattering -- aside from the buzzed-about look number 11: oversized trousers paired with a cropped tuxedo top that will make any woman want to hit the gym now to get her abs ready for spring 2014. (I'll stick with the oversized, baggy-chic looks and leave the belly-baring to the brand's countless celebrity fans, because shopping is my only cardio nowadays.)
In fact, most of the collection is flattering for the BCBG woman, or any stylish woman, for that matter. This season she's a head-turning minimalist who loves sophisticated tailoring and prefers an urban twist on her modern-but classic-silhouettes. At once feminine with her silky georgette and sheer-mesh inserts and androgynous because she's stylish enough to slip in masculine touches here and there in starchy cotton twills, this woman is practical, even when it comes to her done-undone, slightly messy, seemingly air-dried hair and simple makeup, done this season by Bumble and Bumble and Sephora, respectively.
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Anyone familiar with the brand could see the nods to past collections reinterpreted for next season's racks. The breeze of their latest Resort 2014 collection. Prints updated from their Fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection. Look 25, with the highly-coveted leather vest we saw in the Spring 2013 collection. The ease of Spring 2011's lightness.
So how does a married designer couple of a privately owned house, which the Associated Press claimed was rumored to be in "financial turmoil" despite having over 700 stores and being sold in countless high-end retailers worldwide, stay inspired year after year? It's not looking back at this season's inspiration, 25 years of successful archives, according to Max.
"It's loving life, loving people. That's it," Azria said.