Hervé Leger Holds It In

Hardly known for breaking ground (more for taping up), Hervé Léger sticks to the contour look that made him famous. The bandage dress–the brand’s great, if stifling, legacy–was essentially invented by Léger, and when the label was acquired by the Max Azria group in 1998, that skin-tight garment continued to stay front and center. The Azrias have done much to honor the “sex on heels” history they inherited. This year, woven fabric and braided material added texture to the smooth, body-con silhouettes that spectators have grown to expect. The addition of chiffon and pinched, raised fabrics even allowed for flowy movement, adding a hint of elegance to the racy, cut-out-and-Bandaid looks. While the added layers and shimmery beads gave depth to a designer known for sleekness, most of the models looked typically strapped-in as they paraded down the runway in bandage-like bodysuits and ribbon dresses to slow, sultry rock-and-roll. Instead of black and beige, the palette of choice of Max Azria for Herve Leger, the spring prints had a desert tinge. Sky blues, dust-colored greys, and cloud prints were a welcome bohemian touch. Even though there was some stumbling with ungainly denim-patchworking, the line always hits its stride for spring and summer. After all, nothing says warm weather like the suggestion of skin underneath a Leger bandage dress. (LEFT: LOOK 10)