NY Fashion Week: David Bowie inspires BCBG show

Resident fashionist Christal Young went backstage at the BCBG show that kicks of Fashion Week in NY.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The inimitable strains of David Bowie's "Fame" and "Let's Dance" filled the cavernous runway space at the BCBG Max Azria show, a tribute to the late rock star's passion for the art of performance.

"We have an inspiration board in our design offices and we had so many pictures of David Bowie -- and this was before he passed away," said Lubov Azria, one half of the designing duo, in a backstage interview. "I think we loved the idea of performance and performer.  We are all performing in some way or the other, and a performer ... gives us hope. They inspire us to be better."

Azria said this idea was reflected in designs like Lurex tops -- woven with yarn with a shiny, metallic appearance -- as well as lots of slashed leggings. "There's a performer inside of each model," she noted. Also prominent on the runway were oversized sleeves and lots of ruffles, albeit in soft, cozy sweaters. A typical design was a soft, off-the-shoulder sweater dress in peacock blue, paired with a cropped trouser and slashed Lurex leggings underneath. On the feet were black leather booties with shearling details.

Azria said she and her husband, Max, were "huge, huge fans" of Bowie. "I mean, who isn't?" she asked. And she allowed that though "Heroes" was her favorite Bowie song, "'Let's Dance' was not bad either."

Bowie, who died in January of cancer at age 69, wasn't the only inspiration for Thursday's show: The designers were also seeking to channel an `80s vibe, epitomized in those wider sleeves, wider bottoms, and "big, structured jackets." And they also wanted to provide "something tactile and real," said Azria -- in a way, a throwback to basics at a time when technology is revolutionizing fashion. "I think in some way, when technology goes forward, fashion can go back," she said.

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