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Monday Muse: California Culture Inspires BCBG Spring 2016

BCBG Max Azria Spring 2016

With so many designers looking west for inspiration, what’s one of the original Los Angeles labels to do? Well, for BCBG, arguably the brand that waves its L.A. banner with the most pride, Max and Lubov Azria decided to take the skate and surf culture of California and really turn up the volume. While those other labels may add a few baja pullovers or use a sarape motif, BCBG didn’t hint at anything €” the line’s Spring 2016 collection was fiercely Californian and unapologetically cool. In other words, let the other brands tiptoe around California style, because for a brand that helped define it, there’s no reason not to go all out.

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€œEvery season, we pick a destination, but this time, it€™s Southern California, Los Angeles €” we€™re staying right here!€ Lubov Azria told Vogue. €œSurf, skate, music €” the ways California changed the world, but a new proposal.€

Starting at the bottom, BCBG’s usual fare (pumps and lace-up booties) were replaced by a more causal, rubber-soled sneaker/sandal hybrid. It may seem complicated, but the mix of open-toed suede and chunky skate-inspired rubber were fresh and cool. And while we don’t imagine the Birkenstock losing its place in the world of fashion, these cool kicks may come in at a very close second place. Part moc, part creeper, they’re what you’ll be seeing on the street style set next spring. And at the top? That would be the bucket hat. We’ve seen brands try them before, but like the rest of the collection, the designers went all out.

Patchwork, bold and colorful, these toppers are meant to be seen as much as they’re meant to keep your flyaways hidden and the searing California sun at bay.

BCBG Max Azria Spring 2016

And the clothes? While past BCBG collections have been soft or have placed emphasis on artisan embellishment, this bold outing was marked by big patterns, relaxed, looser fits and plenty to cater to women who aren’t going to prom. Sure, the stores will be stocked with the frills and frocks, but what shoppers will be gravitating towards are the baja striped toppers, the brash skate pants (loose, low-slung and so so comfortable) and the pieces incorporating colorblocked tie-dye and ombr© patchwork. Sound like one too many cooks? Take a walk down the Venice Beach boardwalk and you’ll just where these things come together.

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Leg warmers, beach dresses and long T-shirt maxis recalled summer’s dog days and the heat waves that they brought, but just seeing this sunny outlook got us ready for next year’s take on Burning Man and Coachella €” and the Technicolor, rave-ready pieces that walked the runway would be perfect for that, with or without those buckets. It might seem manic, but BCBG’s DNA of femininity, nonchalance and sportif touches (racerbacks have never looked more fresh) made the entire collection utterly wearable and completely cool. California, we always knew you were cool €” it’s about time the rest of the world sees just how cool you can be.

For more information, visit www.bcbg.com.