I couldn’t wait to get behind the doors at the Highline Stages on Friday—and not just because all of us in line to check in at the Yigal Azrouël show were literally melting in the sweltering afternoon heat. The industrial setting of the Meatpacking District proved to be the perfect backdrop for Azrouël’s Spring collection, a stark display of linear, elongated looks. I was relieved to see the designer interpret 2013’s desert-inspired currents in shape rather than color, resulting in clean, sophisticated pieces that one might imagine being worn—cinematically speaking—by a determined, modern woman braving a harsh climate somewhere halfway around the world. Though the jet-black apron dresses evoked a somewhat opposing sensibility (bleak, solemn smocks were distinctly Pilgrim-esque), I adored the plain and simple waffle-knit top; the effect was subtle, demonstrating a quiet appreciation for texture against white canvas. Another wearable favorite was the beautifully understated blue, black and cream tape-hand knit pullover.
What was disappointing was Azrouël’s inconsistency from look to look, and the frustratingly awkward fabric to form choices made throughout. The most obvious example was the eyelet racerback maxi dress in soft, beige-y white that looks gorgeous when still, but doesn’t move particularly well (the sleeved dress that preceded it was even more problematic). Other weak spots included paperweight leather pieces and the stiff, unwieldy canvas constructions that tended to overwhelm otherwise graceful looks.