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Monday Muse: BCBG Max Azria Looks Back on a Quarter Century

BCBG Max Azria Fall 2014

Few fashion labels have the breadth and scope of BCBG Max Azria. Not only is the label known for showing at Fashion Week with one of the most enviable front rows of any brand, the clothes hit an elusive sweet spot that so many designers strive for. The collections are wearable and commercial, but never veer into boring — and along the way, the brand’s founder, Max Azria, has added diffusion lines, accessories, special occasion collections and more that have only worked to create a brand identity that fashion’s most dedicated followers and the casual magazine reader can identify. This year marks the 25th anniversary for BCBG Max Azria, which has its roots planted firmly in California and the laid-back luxury that the Left Coast is known for, but as designers Max and Lubov Azria touch on a few of the house signatures, they’ve got their eyes honed in on what’s to come.

A quarter century ago, a little known brand called BCBG showed at New York Fashion Week. This was before Lincoln Center, before the bevy of fashion bloggers and even before the front rows were scrutinized as much as the clothes that walked the runway.

BCBG Max Azria Fall 2014

€œThat first show was my favorite,€ Lubov told Vogue backstage. €œWe were based in California, but showing in New York…nobody knew what to do with us!”

And what developed over the coming seasons was a trend that continues to this day. BCBG Max Azria is just trendy enough to remain in the fashion lexicon but not so outr© that the masses can’t comprehend where to put an arm or a leg when they’re slipping into a BCBG dress (let’s just take a moment to reminisce on prom — undoubtedly, the dance floor contained a smorgasbord of jewel-toned BCBG creations no matter where you happened to come of age).

Max and his partner Lubov created a casual, cool brand that real world women and celebs alike flock to for clothes that flatter and just feel great. Along the way, the brand built itself on colorblocking, handkerchief hems, t-shirt dresses and prints, which continue to pop up in collections to this day.

BCBG Max Azria Fall 2014

For Fall 2014, Lubov wouldn’t admit to a greatest hits collection, but the runway proved otherwise. There were those classic BCBG touches, prints and handkerchief hems abounded and there were plenty of party-ready frocks whether you fªte in Aspen, Gstaad, New York or, naturally, Los Angeles. The kinetic energy of L.A. was seen on digital prints on miniskirts and longer lengths combined with slip dresses recalled that inaugural New York Fashion Week show — which just happens to be perfectly on point with this year’s grunge revival.

Another way to bring the collection to today? That would be the bold swaths of fur that were tossed on moto jackets, made into muff bags and ran the gamut from sheared to so fluffy that some pieces looked like Fendi lite. That’s not a bad thing, since a major selling point for BCBG is the contemporary price point. For Fendi fans who want their fur but want to have some cash left for something to wear with it, these vests and coats hit all the right notes.

Shop our favorite BCBG pieces: