NEW YORK — He's not exactly a household name, but Yigal Azrouel regularly draws young fashion-obsessed celebrities to his shows. Before the unveiling of his fall 2012 collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Camila Alves entertained reporters with tales about her handbag line for QVC and her engagement to Matthew McConaughey. She flashed a big diamond and said, yes, she was surprised when the actor proposed on Christmas Day.
Jennifer Nettles, the female half of the country duo Sugarland, was a happy camper at Azrouel's show because there was a lot to layer.
Her job revs up again April 5 when Sugarland embarks on a multi-city, five-month tour. Nettles admitted she's not sure if the duo will stop in Houston this time around. "There are so many places, it's hard for me to remember," she said. (For the record, tour dates through August do not include a Texas stop.)
Though she's a Georgia native, Nettles said she favors fall fashion over summer attire. "I love being able to layer," she said. "That's so much more fun."
Nettles was a happy camper at Azrouel's show because there was a lot to layer as the collection featured chunky handknit cable sweaters (as sweaters and below-the-knee sweater dresses), wool pants and dresses in a python print fabric, pastel wool coats, bombers with shearling collars and jackets with quilted sleeves.
In addition to his namesake line, Azrouel has a contemporary collection called Cut25 that will be featured at a trunk show at Tootsies on March 21 and 23. He came up with the name to describe his design technique. "I am a drape designer and much of my designs come out of simply cutting and sewing various fabrics. The number '25' is the numerical value of the letter Y," he told the International Business Times.
For fall, Cut25 features lots of separates —jackets, blouses, above-the-ankle trousers, coats — in muted black and grays, occasionally punctuated by copper or cobalt shades. What's most noticable about the collection are the many shapes —short dresses with above-the-knee pleated skirts or a long trailing hem in the back and a blanket coat with a cowl collar and three-quarter sleeves.
Unlike his namesake collection, where most dresses fall to mid-calf, nearly everything in the Cut25 collection is several inches above the knee.
While Nettles likes fall styles, I much prefer spring/summer collections. Designers are usually in a cheerier mood for the warmer time of year and feature brighter colors that are perfect for the Houston climate. And there's a more athletic vibe.
My favorite Azrouel collection is his spring/summer line in stores now; it's suited for a surfer girl, with neon and graphic prints in high-tech fabrics. It's playful and not nearly as serious as what most designers are showing for fall.
Here's a peek at Yigal Azrouel's Cut25 spring/summer collection: