Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall ’11. Herve Leger’s Fierce Femme-Bot Army

February 15, 2011 • New York Fashion Week Fall '11, Yahoo

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Summary: Designer Max Azria has a tall order to fill come Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The pint-sized legend has three lines to design, orchestrate and display for his teeming masses each and every season. Each line in his trifecta—BCBGMAXAZRIA, Max Azria and Herve Leger—needs to be fresh and current while still staying true to its own aesthetic. And usually, Herve Leger is the one that ends up falling by the wayside in terms of innovation. Everyone loves the label's signature bandage dress so if it ain't broke, right? Wrong. Azria turned all preconceived notions on their heads this season with a lineup that reminded us all of why he's capable of fathering three distinct lines.

Sleek and sophisticated, the Herve Leger Fall' 11 lineup was like a delectable cross between medieval armor and the butt-kicking uniforms in 'The Matrix". Dresses stayed true to their traditional, body-hugging shape but were glittering in a cage-like web of chainlink that brought to mind an almost robotic feel. Bandage turned to bondage when leather harnesses showed up, entangling the black, cream and tan ensembles in intricate detail. And even the simplest of dresses, like a pure white sheath, had subtle stitching on the sides to give off the feel that she was just "created". It was all too much fun to take in.

The final looks of the collection called to mind a knight in shining armor as full-length gowns boasted all-over chain appliques in both silver, black and gold. And yet, the genius was in the fact that, though different, Azria's innovations were not over the top or a departure from his vision in any way. At first glance, the gowns just seemed to scintillate in the light. It wasn't until you saw how much acute detail went into the armor-like detailing that you realized what a work of art each piece really was. It was by far one of my favorite collections this season. And though it wasn't exactly every day wearable,  there were a few fall-ish pieces that poked through, like a houndstooth jacquard dress and a brown hair calf coat. But overall, these were not the women you would see strolling the avenues on a crisp fall day. They were the ones saving the world.

Color Palette: beige, cream, black, black/grey, white, nude, gold, silver, houndstooth, brown, tan, nude/cream, amber, nutmeg    

Fabrics and Textures: quilted leather, leather stud, hardware, chain,  hair calf, jacquard, cage, leather, wool, applique, beading, harnessed, bandage

Key Looks: Beige bandage dress with leather stud detail, white bandage dress with silver stud detail, black bandage and hair calf A-line dress, black leather harness, nutmeg bandage dress with gold hardware, amber bandage A-line dress with gold hardware

—Alia Rajput

Photo Source: NY Mag

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