Style & Fashion

New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week show reviews: Hervé Léger

The Daily Beast

February 13, 2016

It was bitterly cold outside, but the glamorous and fashionable do not fret about temperature. Please. There’s always a limousine or town car to make sure such trifles remain exactly so.

With nary a shiver did the serene-looking beautiful woman in the body-hugging, shoulder and boob-displaying short white dress, take her seat at Hervé Léger’s show Saturday lunchtime, while the rest of us were reminding the tips of our fingers that they belonged to our body.

The front row is its own marvelous, strange vista, but the gaggles of beautiful young things always seem to be without coats, perfectly made up, and smiling.

They have not rushed from a subway.

Even before the runway show began Léger (for some time under the creative aegis of Max and Lubov Azria) had a welcome Fashion Week shot in the arm when Kylie Jenner was photographed in a black Léger jumpsuit on Friday night.

The sheerness of that jumpsuit is instructive: Léger is the apotheosis of body-con and body celebration. It was Léger who became famed for the (now much-imitated) “bandage dresses,” which fit the body–well, the clue’s in the name.

If you’ve huffed and puffed at a gym, and your idea of relaxation is to drop to a side plank for a minute, the Léger dress—sculpted to the body, sexy and also power-emanating, is your reward.

Saturday’s show began with a regimental-styled blazer, cut short and dramatic. That set the tone for a brisk and gorgeous parade: Long black fur-looking coats were worn as skinnily as the tight dresses beneath—sometimes the dresses were simple and one color, like a navy blue, and sometimes they themselves had ruffles or distressed detail.

The most familiarly tight Léger-looking dresses came with bold geometric and colored lines, again accentuating the shapes and angles of a model’s body and musculature.

They were both sleeved and sleeveless, and if they were not multi-colored (blues, yellows and oranges used to great effect), they came with their own panels and cutouts; one was white and its material was styled like cord or rope.

The suburban mother inside me thought, “You’d have to be have to be careful when you put that on the hanger.’ Complete disaster, or unraveling, might await those who caught the dress on a piece of wood or something.

One particularly lovely gown seemed to shimmer with a multitude of gold balls on a dark navy dress background: its very own planet and stars in space. Another was nude-colored, shimmering, and sleeveless.

At the end, the gently smiling Azrias poked their heads out from the end of the runway, rather than taking extravagant bows. If the customary polite applause seemed a little more passionate than usual, it was because Léger somehow balances the sexy and tasteful, the little-OTT with but-that-not-much.

You can go up and down town in a Léger dress: high and low, dive bar or fancy-schamncy, sexy and sensible.

It’s quite the fashion balancing act.