NEW YORK, N.Y. - The woman on the New York Fashion runway Thursday of BCBG Max Azria rolls out of bed and looks good doing it. She probably lives by the beach in one of those houses that lets in all the sunshine reflecting off white walls, furniture and linens.
She wears tunic-style dresses and is comfortable with flashes of skin coming from strategic sheer paneling. And her palette is full of coastal tones, including pale blush, sand and light blue. The many cotton pieces in her wardrobe often have a little wrinkle to them — and that's how they look best.
BCBG is the first major label to show on the official calendar of previews for next season, although a few designers sneak in earlier in the week, trying to grab the attention of the editors, retailers and stylists on the hunt for spring looks over eight days.
There's a routine to it, Azria said in an interview backstage at the Lincoln Center tents, but it's never "routine."
"It always feels like the first show," said Azria, who designs with his wife, Lubov.
They will celebrate 25 years of the BCBG in 2014, and the pieces in this collection will be in stores for the anniversary. There are rumours of financial turmoil at the house, however, that had some in the crowd wondering how happy an occasion that would be.
The Azrias went through the archives, hoping to reinterpret some of the brand's key styles, Lubov Azria explained. "But what we found out is the important thing to us isn't the pieces, it's the process. It's how we put our thoughts out. We like to deconstruct and then reconstruct."
Beyond that, she said, "it's not about a signature. We cater to a woman and her needs, and that has to be versatile.
Now, the design duo is thinking that their customers need to loosen up and lighten up. They offered breezy tunics inspired by a man's button-down shirt, chambray jackets and dresses, and floral prints that weren't as much pretty flowers as they were more like paint splatters.
"We want to see a woman more cool, more relaxed, and that's sexy," Max Azria said backstage before the show.
A black full-length dress with a panel of pleated floral fabric running the length of the garment captured that vibe, and so did the untucked black sleeveless tuxedo gown. Some looks might have gone too far, though, because when trousers are so baggy they are unflattering on the models, one has to wonder how the shopper would feel about them in the dressing room.
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