For his fall collection at Azzaro, Maxime Simoëns said he’d been reflecting on the “exoticism in the way of seeing women, and I wanted to work in that spirit but with more realism,” which he wanted to express through contemporary cues such as flat shoes, tailoring and the occasional bomber jacket.
Cut to draped dresses, adorned with leafy designs, printed in neon hues or crystal-encrusted; pleated duochrome metallic gowns that flashed with every step, and a slew of bustier minidresses that made legs go on for miles. Here and there, geometric designs broke the mélange of tropical greenery and animal motifs. Those felt in step with the house’s glamorous identity, as seen in the short-term retrospective earlier this year at the Arts Décoratifs.
Less successful were the attempts to dress down. The aforementioned bomber still looked high-maintenance, dotted with crystals and adorned with a glittering Azzaro sprawled across the back. As for the less-intensive designs, say, an immaculate white double-breasted trouser suit or a V-neck gown, those ended up looking as incongruous as wandering into the jungle in a slinky gown.