By Laurie Brookins
This idea is revealed in the simplicity of a wool-and-cashmere ivory sheath, devoid of drippy details but artful in its cut. Yet where Azrouël excels in this collection is in the balance of drape and structure, such as a grouping of Miami-friendly cocktail dresses, including a one-shoulder version in lustrous eggplant satin, subtly gathered at the sides both for shape and to create a devastatingly luxe effect when hit by light. A grouping of wraps—you can call them coats, but they’re really voluminous knit pieces, meant to envelop you in warmth and luxury—also are among the most successful looks, especially when paired over slim wool pants and silk-charmeuse blouses. Another standout in the collection is also its most textural, a leather skirt that upon closer inspection is crafted entirely of laser-cut leather disks, which Azrouël playfully refers to as paillettes in his show notes.
“It’s a very organic process,” he says. “I’m inspired most by the fabric, because I don’t know where it’s going to take me. I also love to wash fabrics to give them softness and an interesting texture; there’s a jersey fabric that’s among my favorites to use, and the more you wash it, the softer it becomes. With that leather skirt, I started cutting the paillettes in different sizes and building on the idea, then I washed them to bring out this really interesting texture. Because of that, I knew the paillettes had to have a really sharp edge, so I sent them out to be laser cut.”
Last year Azrouël celebrated a decade since he launched his label; he notes that he’d like to do more accessories, especially shoes, under his own label (currently he designs for Walter Steiger, while past collaborations include Manolo Blahnik). There’s also his men’s collection—“That’s super-personal, everything I design for our men’s line is something I’d wear,” he says—and down the road Azrouël also would be into designing interior pieces and home accessories, “a small collection of interesting tables and chairs, or a great cashmere blanket, which would really make sense for me.”
But he’s in no hurry, he adds. Until the time is right, the surf also beckons. “I’ll probably head out to Montauk this weekend,” Azrouël mentions just prior to the July 4th holiday. “The waves are OK out there this time of year; they’re much better in September, when the hurricane season starts churning things up. But what I like about fashion is also what I like about surfing: Every wave is different. It’s all about the surprise.”
photography by jesse burke
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.