by Alex R. Travers
For BCBG Max Azria, Spring 2014 seemed to be about volumes and construction. The girls had a carefree attitude this season, and they’re showing a little more skin than usual. But that’s not a bad thing. After all, spring is about having fun. In fact, the runway adopted some elements of the most recent New York summer: Subtle blue and pink lights lit the stage with the same meditative force as the James Turrell show at the Guggenheim. And Daughter’s sultry cover of Daft Punk’s summer hit “Get Lucky,” pulsated through the speakers with a nonchalant attitude that matched the slouchy chambrays and oversized jumpsuits. When they appeared, organza openings and clever cutaways took on linear shapes—geometries Max and Lubov played with in past collections (remember last year’s harnesses?). They worked best on the silk trousers. For day, you couldn’t help but admire a double-sleeve tunic dress—sporty and chic—that used slightly different shades of French blue to highlight darts and first-rate deconstructive tailoring. There were more hits: Hand pleating on the floral center of Pauline Hoarau’s black silk print-blocked gown was a nice touch. So was the sleeveless trench coat paired with a cotton men’s shirt. “The juxtaposition of masculine and feminine embodies a new perspective on tailored chic,” said the duo.
In the 32-look collection there were shirtdresses and silk tops in bare pinks and blushes, and they were quite nice, but they got their lifts from the blue abstract prints. I enjoyed the floral prints, a few with Gerhard Richter-like palates, others too abstract to identify—Franz Kline-induced brush strokes in navy rather than black is the closest I can get. But the real winner this season was an off-white snake-embossed leather jacket paired with oversized cotton trousers, just a shade whiter than the snake-embossed jacket. “It’s about a fresh, cool energy this season” said the designers.