As Maxime Simoëns prepared his second collection for Azzaro, he had more time to dive into the house archives to better understand its codes. What emerged is not so much references in styles or silhouettes as techniques like a knit crochet threaded with chains, a house signature developed in the Seventies.
Loris Azzaro left behind a legacy of cocktail and evening choices, jersey and flou work. The incumbent designer is looking to expand on that by grafting more contemporary pieces, which dovetails nicely with his own DNA and the “couture-à-porter” idea.
The collection featured plenty of looks that walked that line with aplomb. From its past came the glittering, effortless glamour, but it was checked off with a contemporary spin: chain-threaded minidresses; a lush and shimmering velvet jumpsuit; second skin trousers with a pussy-bow blouse, and a tweed jacket. Skewing more toward couture were “monkey hair” jackets that were actually fluffy feathers clustered together to resemble fur.
Twelve men’s silhouettes were mixed in, a capsule with a heavy emphasis on couture techniques presented ahead of a full luxury men’s wear launch. Here were showcased further textile manipulations, from rethreaded brocade that had a fade effect to more sedate devoré velvets.
If the end result of this more solid second outing skewed more Saint Laurent than Azzaro, well, that’s not a derogatory notion. But to put the brand — and himself — back on the map, Simoëns would do well to further revive the imprint that had so fired imaginations at his debut.