There was a triumvirate of inspirations for the BCBG Max Azria Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear Collection: the historical architecture of Istanbul, the eclectic vagabond style of Southern Europe, and the works of contemporary artist Phil Frost. Nine months of incredible dedication, craftsmanship, and hard work to see an amazingly inspirational, transformative, and brilliant ten minutes of sketches, design elements, and fabric swatches come to life. Named for the French phrase, “bon chic, bon genre,” which loosely translates to “good style, good attitude,” BCBG Max Azria continued to live up to its namesake, delivering 30 new looks for autumn. Styled with cashmere beanies, stamped lizard thigh high boots, and leather envelope clutches, the layered ensembles embodied an edgy downtown chic.
The palette was predominantly neutral in tones of ivory, talc, indigo, macchiato, toffee, heather, charcoal, and black, with subtle shades of forest, port, and olive to heighten the collection’s mystery. The textiles varied from the soft and flowy cashmere, silk, and chiffon, to the more structured stamped lizard, fur, jacquard, and leather sequins. Embroidered tunics and patchwork dresses channeled a modern gypsified glamour, while laser-cut leather gave the collection a rugged, yet refined sophistication. That juxtaposition of hard and soft was played up with proportions, often layering short over long, vests over billowy sleeves as well as a mélange of textures such as sheer over leather and burnout against nylon mesh with chiffon.
Variations on the collection’s identifying dress silhouette ranged from shirt dresses and shift dresses to slip dresses and gowns, with a few trapeze top and skirt pairings added for good measure. In fact, 23 of the 30 looks were dresses or skirt and top ensembles, with 5 pant looks and 2 jumpsuits. One of the three points of inspiration, New York Artist Phil Frost is known for his raw, gritty, yet elegant, painterly aesthetic. Those elements were captured here beautifully with the combined prints, murky (almost van Gogh) palette, and relaxed shapes. Blending textures of sumptuous layers within each look encapsulated that nonchalant ease of effortless dressing that screams “This is how all the cool girls dress and we want to be one of the cool girls!”
My favorite looks from the BCBG Max Azria Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear Collection included: the black combo print patch silk dress, black stamped lizard thigh boot, charcoal cashmere beanie, and black leather envelope clutch; the talc chiffon tunic, black combo silk print strapless top, black silk crepe skirt, black stamped lizard thigh boot, and light gray cashmere beanie; the port leather trapeze top, port leather a-line skirt, black stamped lizard thigh boot, charcoal cashmere beanie, and black leather satchel; the gray silk crepe long slip dress, black tulle tunic dress with leather sequins, black/silver fur vest, black stamped lizard thigh boot, and charcoal cashmere beanie; the gray satin back crepe shirt dress, black leather cropped motorcycle jacket, red/silver intarsia fur vest, black stamped lizard thigh boot, and ivory cashmere beanie; the whisper satin back crepe a shift dress, talc jacquard pant, talc color block jacquard sweatshirt, mushroom leather pointed shoe, and ivory cashmere beanie.
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