New York Fashion Week: BCBG Max Azria,Tadashi Shoji capture air and vapor
As the New York Fashion Week schedule grinds on, it's easy to let some of the earlier show coverage slip through the cracks and often one can get to the point where the potential blog posts and trend coverage are queued up in the brain, waiting patiently like planes on the tarmac at JFK.
The spring-summer 2011 BCBG Max Azria runway collection, which showed in the Lincoln Center tents on Sept. 10, was one we didn't want to slip away unmentioned. Effortless, weightless, timeless -- pick your "-less" and you could find it in this easy, breezy roundup of versatile dresses that ranged from a silk seersucker dress that nearly touched the floor, to a one-shouldered crepe dress that grazed the top of the thigh.
But the one thing they all shared was a kind of fluidity; the lightweight silk and linen pieces --- some laser-cut ...
... and others embroidered -- were so light that they flowed and baffled about by air currents with each step, helped by overlays and drapes of chiffon and tulle.
Among the front-row celebrities -- which we were told also included Ashley Simpson -- was actress Alison Brie (she plays Trudy Campbell on "Mad Men" and Annie Edison on "Community"), who told All The Rage that she found the collection refreshing. "It was very wistful and romantic," Brie said. "the way the capelets at the shoulders seemed to flutter in the air."
Also on Friday, we ducked into the Tadashi Shoji presentation, where the Los Angeles-based designer was frank with us in explaining why he chose to present his spring-summer collection as a static tableaux after sending his creations down the runway for the last eight seasons.
"Because of the level of detail of my dresses, I wanted people to have more than 15 minutes on the runway to look at them," he said. "And they are expensive gowns, so I think it is important for people to see up close what goes into them." He also explained that this collection was a homage to "15th-century elegance and romance" with an icy cool color palette inspired by the Renaissance frescoes of Piero Della Francesca and Botticelli.
The combination of an up-close presentation and the range of muted colors (ivory, pale lavender, a swirling marble print) made the detailed workmanship stand out; tiered dresses of crinkled silk chiffon, gowns in tiered silk organza, others in hammered crepe or covered in hand-cut tulle flowers.
The result was a solid-looking collection that managed to be light and breezy but not necessarily in a flouncy way (see BCBG Max Azria , above); and we walked away feeling as if the designer had captured -- for just a handful of dresses -- the spirit of the smoke-like vapor that rises off a dry ice.
-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from New York
Photo: At top, looks from the BCBG Max Azria spring-summer 2011 runway collection, shown at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center on Sept. 10. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times. At bottom, a look from Tadashi Shoji's spring-summer 2011 collection. Credit: Tadashi Shojhi.