NYFW: Herve Leger Takes the Punk Plunge

Herve Leger - P 2016
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Lubov Azria dishes on channeling the likes of Rihanna and Gwen Stefani — but in the brand’s signature body-hugging silhouettes, of course.

Sex appeal and Herve Leger are two peas in body-con pod, and this season was no different for creative director Lubov Azria.

What was new, however, was an element of punk introduced through plaids and fringe, as well as grommet and chain detail, as opposed to the brand's sleek signature bandage dresses that have won over everyone from Michelle Rodriguez to Taylor Swift to Miranda Kerr.  

“Herve Leger is always associated with glamour, sensuality — being unforgettable,” said Azria backstage of the label which was acquired by the BCBG Max Azria Group in 1998. “This time around we wanted to turn the knob a little bit. We wanted it to be alternative, a little bit edgier — a little bit cooler, not in terms of an attitude, but just taking more risk.”

PRETTY IN PUNK: Herve Leger's fall 2016 show. (Photos: Getty Images) 

Those red-carpet risk-takers that Azria kept in mind? “I think Rihanna, Gwen Stefani — yeah, all of those ladies. Anybody who kind of owns it,” she said, noting that the collection itself was inspired by “alternative music — punk, rock 'n' roll, hard rock.” Down to the patent knee-high Dr. Martens, the early '90s rock influence was definitely tangible.

But though her designs often hit the red carpets in Hollywood or New York, the L.A.-based, Ukraine-born designer finds her biggest inspiration from her cultural upbringing. “You know it's interesting because it's not about New York and L.A., it's about where you come from,” Azria noted of the role of environment in influencing her collections. “I'm from Europe and so is my husband, so our taste levels are quite elevated.”