High fashion is hitting Columbia.
Yigal Azrouel, an Israeli-born designer based in New York, is bringing his latest line fresh from New York Fashion Week to EdVenture for the museum’s 12th annual Girls’ Night Out on Thursday. Models will work the runway in Azrouel’s fall/winter 2014 line, which the designer said is inspired by architecture and industrial settings.
“For me, it was like creating a shape that was precise and had a masculine appeal to it,” Azrouel said.
Many pieces of the line combine black leather and gray and brown knits, a stark contrast in textures. Azrouel also employs contrast in the types of garments in the collection; there are sleek cocktail dresses, flowing gowns and boxy woolen separates.
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“I like to experiment. I like to mix different fabrics,” Azrouel said. “I like mixing hard and soft things you wouldn’t necessarily think as going together. It’s an experiment.”
The collection’s color palate is largely monochromatic with pops of subdued colors in some garments. Much of Azrouel’s work stays within the confines of black, white and gray. His spring/summer 2014 collection was almost exclusively black and white, and his first few collections, produced for luxury department store Barney’s New York, were exclusively black.
Before launching his first collection in 1998, Azrouel taught himself the tricks of the trade by buying clothes from local flea markets and deconstructing them, creating something new. Azrouel has never received formal training in design, but began working on his own collections shortly after immigrating to New York from Israel.
Azrouel has come far from reconstructing flea market pieces; he has shown collections in Paris and has his own boutique in New York, as well as distributing his fashions internationally.
In addition to being self-taught, Azrouel also makes his own fabric in-house, enabling him to create truly unique pieces.
Now that his fall/winter line has been released, Azrouel has already moved on to new projects. He is collaborating on a collection with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, a New York modern art museum, as well as his first men’s collection, set to be released for spring/summer 2015. He will also release a holiday vacation line in the coming months.
“It’s exciting. Every time you work on a collection, you don’t really know where you’re going,” Azrouel said. “One day you like it, the next day you don’t. It’s a love/hate process, but at the end it works.”