BCBGMAXAZRIA Review – New York Fashion Week Fall 2009

Ever mindful of his winning commercial formula, fashion magnate Max Azria attempted to take his consumer friendly BCBG line into classier, subdued territory. The resulting collection was mixed, teetering between demure and drab, dazzling and dull.

The collection, which came in movements, employed a couple of ideas – such as draping and contrast striping – across several outfits before switching gears. The playful, curious presentation included draped dresses in muted autumnal tints of goldenrod, dark purple and faded violet. At times, the details were brilliant: a gray, silky long-sleeved dress glittered with understated elegance thanks to figure-flattering folds and drapes.

But when those details dominated, outfits floundered. A one-piece dress benefited from stripes on the lapels, but those same highlights overpowered a jacket and skirt ensemble, and revealed how one off-yellow asymmetrical dress looked oddly cut. The problems continued when the collection moved to velvet. Some dresses dazzled with subtle contrasting, while other robe-like shapes bored.

Some unsuccessful pieces were carried over into other ensembles. Similar inconsistency marred the show’s third act, when the collection turned to velvet dresses. Oversized, silhouette ruining wool coats were another big miss, and the coats popped up a few times in several colors over the course of the show.

The pieces were tied thematically with metallic tights and suede ankle boots in gray and black. Although such accessories would typically stand out, they undercut the uniqueness of the better outfits and gave uniformity to the collection. Too often, models resembled gold statues that glinted in the light, but appeared cold.

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video by Wade-Hahn Chan / Meniscus Magazine