Silhouettes and MisShapes: Hervé Léger Still Makes a Scene

Published February 17, 2011




There’s a good reason why young Hollywood is fond of Hervé Léger’s signature bandage dresses: if you’re going to log all those hours on power-yoga mats and elliptical machines, you might as well show off the fruits of your labors in body-hugging red-carpet dresses.

The “bandage” dress—consisting of rayon-based, body-conscious bands of fabric—was originally designed by Hervé Léger in 1985 and has been creatively reinvented by Max Azria each season since the line’s 2007 relaunch. This season, Azria sent the bandage’s current reincarnation down the runway as fresh, body-skimming, sleeveless, and mostly knee-length dresses in tones ranging from nutmeg to black, paired with knee-high stiletto boots. In some of its cleverest and most intricate interpretations yet, this season’s collection sported embellishments which included metallic paillettes, cut-outs, and corsetry that recalled the iconic black Thierry Mugler dominatrix-style dress Demi Moore wore in Indecent Proposal.

We asked Lubov Azria, Max’s wife and design partner, about the challenges of reinventing the silhouette each season. “We probably have enough ideas to last us to 2020,” she said. “When you have this bandage and then starting weaving on it or embossing, there’s so many techniques; it’s really a work of art.” As for how the couple approaches the creative process, Lubov said, “Max is visionary, and I am very detail-oriented. He wanted a glamazon kind of woman—sporty, active armor—and I went back to our design team and started developing and working. I show Max as it develops.”Supermodel (and frequent Vogue cover girl) Karolina Kurkova, who watched from the front row, thought the collection was “beautiful, edgy, sexy, feminine, definitely very strong and powerful; for a woman who is independent, yet sensual. I like all the lighter colors, the blushes, the camels, the beiges, which are colors I’m very intro right now.” Kurkova is currently working on “a beauty project in its very early stages and appearances, TV shows, movies.”  She is interested in “branching out, sharing information with people from what I’ve learned about how to be well, healthier, take care of yourself, be a good mom and wife, and stay in shape.”

JuJu, the 19-year-old model who closed the show in a non-traditional, cut-out “wedding” gown [pictured, above right], stays in shape by “walking everywhere in Paris,” her adopted home. “Even when I have castings, I don’t take the Métro. Walking in Paris is my favorite thing to do. And I take care what I eat, healthy food, exercise, running in the morning, some yoga.” JuJu was discovered at age 13 in a Ukrainian modeling school and modeled in London and Paris before coming to New York. Fashioin Week in New York (where she rents an East Village apartment) has entailed 15 shows for Juju, who will then be “flying to London Thursday, then off to Milan, then Paris.”

Of closing the show, JuJu said, “Max Azria is the best. When you’re getting into these dresses, you feel so sexy and comfortable; they’re really soft on your skin. People always ask me what I think about on the runway, but I’m totally relaxing. Sometimes you’re nervous while you’re standing on line, waiting to go on the runway, but once you step on it, it’s just amazing.”

Also in the front row was Leigh Lezark of storied DJ trio The Misshapes. Of this Fashion Week, she said, “I’ve seen a lot of orange this week, no kidding. But I don’t follow trends; I don’t care for them. I think if you follow trends, you’re going to look like everyone else. What’s the fun in that?” Lezark has been busy creating the soundtrack for the Cynthia Rowley show, spinning at several Fashion Week parties, including the Jeremy Scott afterparty at Le Bain, and preparing for “a lot of runway shows for Buenos Aires, London, Milan, and Paris,” where she will be doing the music for Zac Posen’s show.

We asked Lezark what she likes to listen to when not working. “I’m always looking for new music,” she said. “This morning I was listening to the Kanye/Nicki song, ‘Monster.'” She thought that Arcade Fire’s surprise Grammy win “was amazing, it was so good for them. They DJ’d a few years back.”