Yigal Azrouel Spills Secrets About His First Los Angeles Fashion Show

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The New York-based fashion designer talks to The Hollywood Reporter about his Wednesday night show, the motivations behind his spring 2012 collection and the reason he decided to make his L.A. debut now.

Designer runway shows are becoming almost as ubiquitous on the Los Angeles social scene as valet parkers. Lots of charity events host major fashion shows, and at this point, most important designers -- even Karl Lagerfeld -- have shown collections at major locales in L.A. But Yigal Azrouel -- who's clothes are carried at Arcade, Satine, Madison and H. Lorenzo boutiques in West Hollywood, as well as other spots around town -- will show his very first L.A. show as part of Arcade boutique owner Rochelle Gores' "Autumn Party" second annual charity event for the Children's Institute Inc. at the London Hotel rooftop pool on Wednesday night. The Hollywood Reporter's Fash Track spoke to the designer exclusively just after he landed in town and was doing hair and makeup tests on his models.

The Hollywood Reporter: Yigal, why now to show in L.A. for the first time?

Yigal Azrouel: I've shown in New York and Paris, but never had an opportunity to do a show in L.A. before -- although I've been to L.A. many times to show collections to the press. I'm very excited to be a part of this charity, and because Rochelle is in charge of it, and she's already our client, it makes it very easy to work with her and her team. I admire how much she's done for this charity, and I always like to participate in things like this. 

THR: Your spring collection was a little bit different for you -- simpler shapes, but more color -- and the colors put together in a fresh way, like blue with mustard.

Azrouel: Yes, it's got an element of Hollywood glamour in it, which is why it's perfect to show here -- but it's Hollywood in that young and fresh and cool way -- the way girls really dress in this city. There's a lot of leather, which I see a lot of women wear here, and it's in a variety of colors. This season has more structure on the top, and more softness in the lower silhouettes. It adds up to effortless chic, and that's what I appreciate about L.A. over almost every other city in the world. Women don't pile on the jewelry and accessories here; it's about simplicity, and the body. It's about personality. These clothes can be layered, but they flow, so they hide and they reveal at the same time. 

THR: But there are a couple of pretty sexy dresses in the mix, too.

Azrouel: Oh yeah, the red dresses, they really move with the body, I love that fabric. And the black sheer dress with the bodysuit underneath is for an actress with a fabulous figure. It's sexy without being contrived -- I don't like the look of trying too hard. We also did a lot of white shirt looks -- like the one long white shirt gown. That's a great daytime or nighttime look.

THR: I noticed that there are a lot of wide-legged trousers in your spring collection. I'm not sure Hollywood is ready for that -- all the women here live in skinny jeans or leggings.

Azrouel: Yes, I love the wide trouser look of the 1970s, to me, that's real Hollywood glamour. It looks a bit retro, but more fresh and now I think. The ones in leather are particularly new looking.

THR: How are you going to dress celebrities who come to the show when you only have the recent pieces that have been on the runway?

Azrouel: Oh well, I think about this as I'm making the collection. We get a good idea of what looks will be popular, and I make extra samples of them. Yes, the duplicates are made as we create the collection. So we will definitely dress some celebrities for the event.

THR: What will the hair and makeup be like? Will it replicate what the show looked like in New York?

Azrouel: Yes, we're doing the hair and makeup tests now. It will look as it did on our spring 2012 runway in New York, but even more soft and clean.