NYFW: BCBG MAX AZRIA F/W 2014

With this season’s show, Max Azria is celebrating his company’s 25th anniversary by going down South and looking at the styles and designs of Louisiana and the bayou for inspiration. That Cajun influence translates into a wide variety of looks that will make many a wardrobe come alive no matter where it is worn.

Three themes immediately stand out when looking through this collection.

  1. You can definitely wear white after Labor Day
  2. Color blocking has not gone away
  3. You can put a touch of fur on anything.

Azria starts with a very light-colored palette of white and tan with stripes, both horizontal and vertical, of black, blue, tan, and sometimes a burnt orange. Hemlines are often asymmetrical, but almost always come to at least the knees where they are met by simple black boots. Lines for the dresses and separates are clean and unencumbered.  Open backs on a number of the dresses might be a bit drafty at times, but one would assume that an overcoat would be worn when venturing out into the elements.

Max and Lubov (his designer wife) seem to have a thing for ponchos and mufflers this season. Perhaps they like the naturally rounded shoulders of the ponchos, which they carry over to coats and jackets as well. The mufflers are all fur, providing that consistent touch to looks that were not so accessorized otherwise.

As the palette grows darker, the styles become more interesting. Fur stripes on leather separates are certain to get a lot of notice as are some occasionally odd shaped and bulky fur collars. Color blocking becomes more geometric for darker hues and fur occasionally takes over whole panels.

Those who are into extremely large and over-sized coats will love the large, fur-laden pieces Max is bringing this fall, pushing multiple colors of fur in patterns that sometimes resembles a trader’s pack of pelts strapped on the back of some four-legged beast of burden. These coats are definitely not PETA friendly, but then, not much in this collection is. If one is fur-sensitive, you’ll need to shop elsewhere.

Overall, however, this is likely to be a very popular collection, especially throughout the South and Southwest where the colors are natural accents to the geography.

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