Just when you thought the bondage, excuse me bandage dress could not get any sexier, Max and Lubov Azria, up the ante with a stable of leather accessories. It’s difficult to imagine improving much upon such an iconic design, but each season the Azrias manage to do just that. In seasons past, we’ve seen an ombré effect, embroideries, and provocative cut-outs help shape the sexy silhouette, but for Fall 2012, equestrienne elements in the form of leather corsets and harnesses gave the collection what the team referred to in the liner notes as a study in seduction and restraint. The bran known for that aforementioned form-fitting dress, consistently finds new ways to reinvent its signature silhouette each season—whether with blocks of or a gradation of color.
If the palette seemed restrained in neutral tones of black, brown, cognac, champagne, and alabaster with hints of raisin, kale, and sapphire, then the construction and styling provided the seductive counterpoint. Pleats, diamond patterns, and beading gave the collection a mystically feminine allure, while stamped python, gold hardware, leather harness details, snake and leopard prints underscored the presentation’s heightened edge.
Female empowerment has remained a prevalent message throughout the collections. The Azrias seemed to have harnessed that power, at least metaphorically, with their sartorial translation, leather harnesses of all forms—belt, vest, bust, and shrug. Woven bodices, embroidered panels, and fringe accents also helped to frame the hourglass-enhancing pieces.
Of the 31 new looks, my favorites from the Hervé Léger by Max Azria Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection included: the rock and blue sapphire bandage dress with beaded detail, black harness belt, black leather boots, and black leather clutch; the black and gravel pleated bandage dress with beaded detail, black leather harness vest, black leather boots, and black leather wristlet clutch; the bare diamond-pattern bandage dress, the cognac leather harness hip belt, the cognac leather boots, and brown leopard-print wristlet clutch; the black strapless bandage dress with beaded detail, black leather bust harness, black leather boots, and black leopard printed wristlet clutch; the raisin pleated bandage dress, black leather harness shrug, black leather boots, and brown snake-print box clutch; the red ombré bandage dress, black leather stamped python long sleeve harness shrug, black leather cuffs, black leather boots, and black leather wristlet clutch.
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