“Above all, we wanted to bring a lightness to the cut, the shape and in the feeling,” said the designer duo Alvaro Castejón and Arnaud Maillard — who tend to finish each other’s sentences — backstage after their couture collection for the Loris Azzaro brand.
It was this lightness that they hoped would carry the audience away on a desert dream. They concocted this vision via a collection in shades of sand, oasis blue and pitch-black night. Which was filled with gowns featuring capes to billow out in the hot desert breeze and see-through fabrics that would be little help from a blazing sun.
The duo uses a number of more experimental embellishment techniques to transmit their exotic ideas. Hundreds of dots of silicon were used to create floral motifs, and gold leaf was positioned in patterns on dresses and then heated into place.
Those gold-embellished white gowns were some of the best in the show. And the subtle undulating three-dimensional patterns the duo created on a few fitted floor-skimming gowns were a clever way to allude to shifting desert sands. But it was the more opaque pieces in this collection, in particular the nonchalantly chic draped pants and the fluid cover up that featured a smattering of stand-up tear drop embellishments across the chest, that worked best for the designers.
Unfortunately, from far away most of the handiwork in this show did not register as strongly as the duo might have liked. Resulting in the collection feeling more a kindred spirit of ready-to-wear rather than haute couture.