- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 10, 2009

NEW YORK — It’s all about dresses for spring for BCBG Max Azria: There was a nary a pair of pants on the collection’s runway Thursday at New York Fashion Week.

But there was enough variety in the silhouettes to make it feel like a comprehensive lineup of clothes for the new season, with styles ranging from a loosely tacked white T-shirt to a mesh, abstract, floral-print bandage gown. (The many bandage-style dresses make you wonder if co-designers Max and Lubov Azria are getting their signals crossed with one of their other brands, Herve Leger, the bandage-happy line that will be shown at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents on Sunday.)

Starlets in the front row, including Amanda Bynes and Theodora and Alexandra Richards, nodded approvingly as some of the nightclub-worthy dresses made it down the catwalk.

The Azrias said in their notes to the editors, retailers and stylists at Bryant Park that they were looking for balance “where the unprecious becomes precious.”

There certainly was something artful in the draping and a lightness in the fabrics that evoked both ease and sexiness while not being overly simplistic. A gray jersey dress with handkerchief hem, for example, had subtle quilting on the straps, and a patch of printed fabric on a light taupe asymmetrical dress was reminiscent of python skin.

The designers were aiming for a “carefree spirit that embodies a modern piece of art,” they said.

Suze Yalof Schwartz, executive fashion editor at large for Glamour, zeroed in on outfit No. 6, a fuschia one-shoulder number with a block of printed fabric. It is perfect for the BCBG customer, she said. “It’s young, it’s sexy, it’s feminine, and it’s high fashion without a high-fashion price.”

All the dresses were paired with teetering, leather wrap-up sandals that were toned down and made more sophisticated than the gladiator style popular last summer.

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