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Hervé Léger's animal magnetism

A black and white piece walks down the

A black and white piece walks down the runway for Herve Leger during Fashion Week. (Feb. 9, 2013) Credit: Nina Ruggiero

Hervé Léger by Max Azria looked to nature for inspiration this season, and the abstract sculpture of Les Lalanne, a French husband-and-wife duo known for clever takes on animals and vegetation. 

Here are chic looks for the urban jungle: swingy bandage dresses with dazzling appliqués and beading, exotic matching leggings, cuff booties and the occasional leather harness layered on like a bra top. The appliqués and beading, in graphic, textured designs, had the vague feel of leaves or the striped markings of, say, a zebra or some other chic animal.

A goatskin and fox fur hoodie provides ample protection when the massive hood is worn up, atop a brimmed hat—the model stares out from deep within, and it’s like you’re spotting the eyes of an owl inside a knot hole of a tree. 

The brand is known for its body-hugger bandage dresses (which Madeleine Stowe can’t get enough of on ABC’s “Revenge”). But what’s particularly exciting about this season is that the dresses, while figure flaunting, don’t seem quite as sausage-casing tight as in past years. You could easily spot a Léger headed your way at a hundred paces, but here the seaming on the wrapped fabric is subtle, barely noticeable. The brand was always synonymous with sexy—now it’s sexy…and unexpected. A good combo. 

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