BCBG's show began with a long series of white dresses, each loose-fitting and crotch-skimming; more than a few were backless. And just when an observer might think the entire show would parade by in one cute-but-revealing LWD monotone, "variety" came.
Variety, that is, in the form a number of floaty little cute-but-revealing frocks in tones of ecru, beige, eggshell, off-white, and a greige even Armani hasn't attempted since the early '90s. Eventually, soft blues, reds, and corals appeared, and the finale flood was like a color wheel of near-pastels.
That's not to say that there weren't dresses in this lineup that were pretty and wearable.
It's just that there were also a lot of design elements that seemed unlikely to cut it when exposed to real wearers and real wear. Strapless frocks with cut-outs in the back defy anyone who needs, or prefers, to wear that garment known as a bra.
The overall free-floating silhouette is not a friend to women with curves, who might prefer a more defined waist.
And it's one thing to show an all-white collection — or nearly — and it's quite another to show it on an almost all-white cast. All of the models cast for BCBG's show were white, save one: Chinese model Shu Pei Qin.
There were several little numbers that looked perfect for a party or — perhaps worn as tunics, with pants — were even work-appropriate.
Watching Anne Slowey's facial reactions — the Elle editor was sitting front-row in a blue-and-white caftan and Birkenstocks — was far more interesting than watching the actual show.
The bands of tulle that appeared at the hems of lots of the looks seemed positioned for maximum snagging potential.
And there were rompers.
Also potentially misguided were the many looks that were tiered so that the shapeless dress was overlaid with a shapeless peplum that ended around the mid-riff, a long-short dynamic that Chanel perplexingly attempted in its last couture collection.
That said, there were some pretty frocks in soft, summery colors, some of which had tone-on-tone embroidery and embellishment that, up close, is very cute indeed.
Most women aren't looking to BCBG Max Azria for the avant-garde or the exciting, and nor are we looking for a complete wardrobe — there was no attempt made at separates, for one. BCBG does cute party dresses, and they do them in nice fabrics. Come summer, tweaked versions of a lot of these floaty numbers will probably seem pretty nice.