09/07/2012 09:03 EDT | Updated 11/07/2012 05:12 EST

Yigal Azrouel's spring looks hit some emerging runway trends: hoodies, aprons and leather

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Lucky were the models in the beachy white cotton maxi dresses on the Yigal Azrouel runway Friday.

Outside Azrouel's New York Fashion Week show in Manhattan's Meatpacking neighbourhood, it was roasting, but the designer choose an easy, sort-of-breezy path for the spring collection that debuted in front of retailers, editors and stylists.

Azrouel is known for an architectural and clean style. He continued to refrain from extra embellishment for next spring, but the shape was definitely looser. He was aiming for "an effortless ease," he said.

There were hooded jackets, waffle-knit tops and tank dresses. He started the show with optic white looks, which morphed into grey and then black. One pink dress, which he called "quartz," captured the "apron" dress trend (think a sheath silhouette with tank straps) that is emerging from this round of previews, but the very low cut back made this more sexy than utilitarian.

He also hit on leather, continuing its must-have status for the fall season, and the loose hoods, which made sense on the lightweight cotton-leather trench but looked a little strange on the cotton-silk cocktail dress.

"Nature inspired me in this collection," Azrouel said in a pre-show interview. "One day in nature, things will look different than the next. What changes is the light, the position of the sun, the water, rain — or even a tree growing."