2010 September 15

Runway Reviews: Hervé Léger, Yigal Azrouel, Temperley London, Sophie Theallet

Herve Leger Spring 2011 Herve Leger Spring 2011
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How many ways to reinvent the bandage dress? Let us count the ways. Hervé Léger presented 30 looks for the Spring 2011 collection, and this season designer Max Azria focused on Marie Antoinette, updating her regal style, stripping her of layers of tulle, lace and other 18th century trappings. Azria’s modern day Antoinette is ready for the step-and-repeat, and rubberized prints and perforated jackets felt urban and sporty. Hues of bone, peach, blush and ivory provided a lady-like appeal, and waves of ruffles jutted out at the hips like a Marie bustle, which is, in a way, the anti-body con look. Still, Azria managed to mesh the two silhouettes together—quite literally, with mesh. Let them eat cake! Just not in these form-fitting frocks.

Inspired by the clean lines of architecture and Irving Penn’s iconic photographs, Yigal Azrouel’s latest Spring 2011 collection had elongated and linear silhouettes, giving it a modern and sophisticated feeling. Yigal used a very neutral palette of sand, yellow, white, and oyster with easy layering fabrics such as silk chiffon, crepe de chine, and georgette. While most of the dresses were long, loose, and easy, the collection was punctuated by details such as optical cutouts at the neckline, color blocking, exposed darts, peplum trims, bi-level open backs, military epaulettes, and rope chording. 

Alice Temperley showcased both her lines side by side at Milk Studios—her main line, Temperley London, as well as Alice by Temperely. The Alice line envisioned a modern-day Marie Antoinette (a popular inspiration point this season), and frothy embellishments like hand-pleated rosettes and cheerful bows served as a playful take on the 18th century icon. “The Alice line is all-around accessible and versatile,” the designer summed up. As for Temperley’s main line, the inspiration was another legendary female, this time, Guinevere (which also happens to be Temperley’s middle name!). Gold chain mail knits and bead detailing launched us back to the knights at the roundtable. “We’ve refined and go back to what we’re known for, the softer, ethereal and elegant look,” Temperely explained and added, “At the same time, it’s a more sophisticated, because we have also matured.”

She may be oh-so-French, but Sophie Theallet looked to the Spanish-speaking worlds for inspiration for Spring 2011. Starting with simple, peasant-y LWDs (that’s little white dresses, darlings—major for Spring), Theallet merged into appliqués and prints, often with a bird motif. Cinched at the waist (MObama’s preferred style) with wide belts or gathers, these frocks were uber-flattering and summery. Theallet dove into evening more than ever before for Spring; a red shift dress with a sheer yoke was sexier than her usual fares—ditto for the clingy satin numbers. Winning for evening were Spanish lace-topped looks, particularly a nude dress with black lace overlay and a simple white skirt with a boxy black lace tunic atop it.