Prabal Gurung might be so over "body-con" dressing, but what else would one expect from Hervé Leger by Max Azria?
Since the Tunisian-born Frenchman behind the BCBG empire bought the branding rights to the venerable French couture house, and started producing his own designs under the label Hervé Leger by Max Azria, he has almost exclusively referenced Leger's signature back catalog of elastic "bandage" dresses.
There were plenty of those on display yesterday — woven elastic, twisted elastic, elastic corsets, elastic with cut-outs. It kind of made one yearn for the plain old sewn elastic strips of Leger's originals.
(Once, in 2005, I found two Hervé Leger elastic-bandage LBDs from the early '90s — the pre-Azarian period — in a thrift store in Iowa City. One had a portrait neckline and a full, but short, skirt, the other was a skintight V-neck shift. I didn't buy them, because they were tagged at $25 each, which was at the time roughly equivalent to my monthly food budget. I am not the biggest fan of wearing things that are short and tight and revealing, but even I have often, in the intervening years, returned to that moment of decision with regret.)
The most interesting dresses of this collection incorporated panels of laser-cut black leather. It gave the leather an almost lace-like quality, delicate and tough at the same time.
There were way too many dresses that had ill-advised poufy skirts, however.
And, as we've pointed out, the overwhelming lack of diversity in the casting was an unfortunate distraction.
You know what you're getting, with Hervé Leger: sexy skintight dresses with sexy cut-outs. If the brand has an animating idea, it's that feeling sexy and feeling powerful, for women, are synonymous. One's reaction to the clothes will largely depend on how one feels about that notion.