Over the years fashion week has become increasingly democratic. Okay, so maybe the front rows are still a no go zone to us mere mortals but on the whole, they are a lot more accessible than they ever have been. First up was the rise in bloggers attending the shows followed swiftly by live streaming and now things are going one stage further.
Thanks to a partnership between Maybelline and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, you'll be able to watch runway shows live in Times Square this week. Nicholas K, Tadashi Shoji, Richard Chai and BCBG Max Azria will be shown on a giant screen throughout the day on Thursday, The Cut reports. At the moment that is the only day that the initiative will run but if a success, I'm sure it's only the start of more to come.
Colour blocking was the order of the day at BCBG Max Azria this week. While it's not something new - they have been doing it for a few season now - this season's offering felt a lot more considered than it has been in the past.
In the show notes, the designer quoted the Bauhaus movement from Germany as the source of inspiration for the shapes in the collection and it worked. Geometric abstractions appeared throughout on the collection. Trench coats with leather panelling and interesting shapes were the perfect modern interpretation of the aesthetic and the dresses were reminiscent of Wassily Kadinsky's 'Swinging' painting.
Like last season, the design duo got the colour palette just right. The bright yellows, blues and greens that we saw in September were replaced with rich olive tones, burnt orange and mustard. Dresses were the focus point coming in lightweight fabrics that worked perfectly under heavyweight outwerwear that often came with fur trimmings along hemlines or shoulders or on stoles layered on top.
Isaac Mizrahiisn't the only designer deciding against showing his S/S12 collection in a runway show this season. This week Max Azria have announced that they will not have a runway show this season but have remained quiet about the reason behind the change, leading may to believe that it's a result of their ongoing financial difficulties. But it's not all bad. Hervé Léger and BCBG Max Azria will both show their collections at normal.
But Max Azria is not alone. Vena Cava confirmed that she will show a small 'preview' of her collection rather than a full-on show with only friend and family being invited. Any press and buyers wanting to have a look at their spring offerings will have to wait to receive the look book which will be sent after the preview. Last season the collection receieved scathing reviews and didn't do to well at retail so this is probably the reason for the change.
Although Halston continue to lose employees this week, they clearly seem to be doing something right as several Max Azria are reportedly moving to the brand.
Ben Malka, president of BCBG Max Azria, is allegedly set to head Halston Heritage and bring Marie Mazelis with him after she announced her departure from Hervé Léger and Max Azria as creative director yesterday. Despite telling WWD that, "I haven't made a final decision yet" about her next move, many claim that her move to Halston Heritage is confirmed but her exact role is still unclear.
This morning, Max Azria was amongst the first to show his fall offerings, presenting a collection that developed upon some of the themes that we'd seen in his S/S11 collection. As we saw in February, it was all about simplicity. Max and Lubov Azria sent models down the runway in functional, minimalist pieces and copious amounts of layering.
Maxi dresses appeared throughout in varying forms, ranging from sheer styles in black to drop-waist versions with asymmetric hemlines, but the pair created a level of continuity by teaming them up with uber-thin turtlenecks throughout. The colour palette featured all of the shades you'd expect for fall amongst unexpected (but welcome) flashes of bright orange and cobalt blue to break it up.
It definitely wasn't a toned-down affair at the Spring '11 Herve Leger runway show this week. Whereas Max and Lubov Azria veered toward minimalism for their first two collections at New York Fashion Week - for their BCBG and Max Azria lines - the drama was allowed to breathe for the final runway set. Sticking to their routine of bandage dresses at Leger, the duo sent monochromatic looks onto the catwalk, but they were dipped in lace, full of corset details and hardly appropriate for shrinking violets. If Marie Antoinette wanted to party in the Boom Boom Room (or whatever it's called these days), she'd likely pick up a little something from Leger.
Azria has drawn criticism, most notably from Jenna Sauers of Jezebel.com, for including only one black model in the runway show. To that, Azria responded that the casting choice was based simply on the selection of models available this season. He explained: “Sometimes there are a lot on the market, sometimes there are less...And we never know why they are tall, why they are short…” It seems this answer isn't flying with some diversity advocates. What do you think?