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BCBGMAXAZRIA Fall 2012 Show — Marrying the Bauhaus and De Stijl Art Movements through Fashion

Block out another life circle for the color-blocking trend, ladies. If the  BCBG Max Azria Fall 2012 show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is any indication, geometric motifs will remain de rigueur come autumn. But despite the emphasis placed on rectilinear grids, the designs seen at the BCBG Max Azria Fall 2012 show didn’t abide by the strict De Stijl-ian principles that insisted only primary colors be used nor did they evoke the same type of standoffish, impersonal, distant feeling that Mondrian and his piers wished to instill via their works. Instead, the collection married the strict division of shapes linked to the De Stijlian movement with the rich hues, contrasting textures, and varying tonalities associated with artists from the subsequent Bauhaus movement, key among them Paul Klee.

The color palette, then, included: rich burgundies paired with toasted almond browns, as with a stunning color-blocked wool coat featuring fur trim along the sleeves (pictured above, last); a Kandinsky-esque combination of evergreen and royal blue, as with a pleated, knee-length georgette skirt with a tulle insert along the center panel to increase the piece’s transparency and give the piece greater movement (shown third from top);  bright coral orange paired with muted mocha brown (as with the shift dress pictured fifth from top); rusty coppers and paprika reds paired with sheer blacks or neutrals; and hints of chartreuse green, mustard yellow, and deep teal.

Silhouettes were prim and proper, inspired by the 1950s but modernized by the pairing of seemingly discordant materials. Skirts, dresses and blouses with razor-sharp knife pleats, for example, were made breezy and sexy but demure by adding a hint of sheerness or incorporating plunging necklines or slits along the thighs.

Most ensembles, then, seemed to convey a push-and-pull between freedom and restraint, fluidity and rigidity. An expertly tailored black silk jumpsuit (pictured after the jump) featured a body-conscious fit, with a navy band below the waist contouring the figure, and horizontal cream, copper, and burgundy stripes at the shoulders infusing strength into the silhouette, but billowing long sleeves, an exaggerated V neckline, and loose-fitting pant legs adding a sense of ease to the otherwise constrained design. Similarly, a loose-fitting, knee-length dress evoked a sense of structure and order thanks to its intricate color-blocked motif — a black panel running vertically down the center of the V-neck dress; blocks of navy at the hips, on either side of the black strip, and green blocks directly beneath them; and bands of bright cobalt at the waist, running diagonally at the shoulders, and blocked into triangular shapes on either side of the bodice —  but the sheer long sleeves, cuffed tightly at the wrists to create a billowing effect, counteracted the rigidity of the color-blocking for a perfect harmony between the two concepts.

Fox and mink fur were peppered throughout the collection in rather clever ways so that they adorned the sleeves, wasitline, or shoulders of leather jackets, wool vests and coats. In fact, one of our favorite pieces was a  waist-length black leather jacket with elbow-length wool sleeves covered in patchwork fur (shown second from top).

Take a look at more of the runway looks after the jump!

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