NEW YORK, N.Y. - Max Azria wanted to infuse the metal sculptures of the artist duo Les Lalanne with the bandage silhouette of the Herve Leger line, but what he got was urban jungle-inspired armour.
For fall, Azria mixed studs, exposed zips, fur and beading with the bandage silhouette for which Leger and his namesake label are known, creating a riot of black, white and autumnal animal prints for the runway show Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center.
It all seemed demure, thanks to a below-the-knee hem and fur hooded goatskin sweatshirts that didn't seem out of place after a blizzard dumped snow all over the New York City area.
Demure isn't a word normally associated with Herve Leger, yet nary a knee peeked out of the collection. Whenever the lower hem wasn't covering up legs, tight black leggings made of bandage strips and knee-high boots covered up any skin.
The brand, long popular among club-going types, introduced a debut line of footwear during the show — boots that were, like the clothes, dark, sleek and skin tight.
For dresses, the bandage construction hugged the bodice tightly but flared at the hips. A zip-front dress with encrusted bright green beading moved beautifully with one model as she glided down the U-shaped runway.
A studded golden brown jacquard bandage dress with an exposed back zipper looked part tigress, part Amazonian.
Where the number of shapes was limited, different textures made up for the lack of variety.
Leather harnesses were layered over sheer jersey tops, ponte bandage dresses and more fur sweatshirts. Baseball caps with leather trim added to an equestrian tone set by the leather boots, often toning down the femininity of the flared skirts.
Pops of purple, green and gold accented a mostly black-and-white collection in an update on animal prints and camouflage.
It was a mishmash of ideas, but the intent to downplay the sexualized silhouette of the bandage dress was clear. This Herve Leger girl may be on her way to a club, but she's also ready to rumble.