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Couturier match-up: AZZARO vs LAGERFELD FW13

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
This week is a bit of indulgence and a trip into fashion’s history with two of the biggest names of Couture: Azzaro and Lagerfeld. Alongside the small artisanal Japanese brands, the Italian tailors, and the leather companies were these two names at Pitti83, back with licensed mid-priced lines, and I had a chance to check them out.

Azzaro: in fashion history, Azzaro stands as one of the great couturiers, famous for his extravagant playfulness and innovative design, a distinctive niche that blended the influence of designers as varied as Valentino, YSL, and Ungaro. The man himself died in 2003, his house shuttering its doors and remaining only through a fragrance license (the ubiquitous Azzaro Pour Homme, one of the great fougere fragrances of mainstream perfumery). The brand is back, however, with a new mid-priced men’s line trying to channel a European aesthetic with relatively accessible pricing.

Do I see any hints of Azzaro’s DNA in it? Not at first glance, as the collection is a fairly basic staple of suits, jackets, skinny shirts and trousers. Perhaps there is a hint of the man present in the strange, grayblue tint on a series of jackets, but without interesting cuts to the sleeves or sequins, it’s hard to tell that this would be AZZARO and not Hugo Boss. Given that outside Couture and fashion history circles Azzaro is not a household name, unless future collections begin to channel a more distinctive silhouette and aesthetic, I think it will be hard for Azzaro to rise above the saturated mid-price "Euro" line.


Lagerfeld: Lagerfeld was, is, and will be for the foreseeable future perhaps the biggest name in fashion. First at Chloe, then at Fendi and Chanel, he’s also always kept his namesake label innovative with his own blend of modern, dark, somewhat stark dresses and menswear. He’s created another diffusion line, Lagerfeld, licensed through another company, to channel this spirit at a lower price point. He’s done it before with mixed success (Karl, KL, etc), though this time the line seems much closer to the impossible-to-find yet always-worth-a-look LAGERFELD GALLERY runway collection. As such, depending on distribution, it may be a look for its use of Lagerfeldian zippers, black wools, high-collar shirts, and cropped jackets.... though like Azzaro above it may be a difficult niche given huge competition and saturation (including from Fast Fashion like Zara or H&M who can do these styles faster, cheaper, with comparable levels of detail).


NOTE: Both are under the ownership of large conglomerates who were not thrilled with the idea of the SF team taking a bunch of pictures. SO, below are just a few stock pics from their lookbook. See the above websites for more pictures and information.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90
post #2 of 3
Lagerfeld always does the same look for his self-branded line, but seems to go through backers/licenses like tissues. Mostly boilerplate "euro" designs with lots of Dior Homme references.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
^Agreed. There was a FW season of Lagerfeld Gallery back in 2004 (IIRC) that had all these great, large palladium zippers everywhere. It was very neat... Lagerfeld but with a twist. Beyond that (when Lagerfeld himself got skinny), you are right that basically its All Dior, All the Time.

I've always found it slightly odd that Lagerfeld was such an uninspired menswear designer, given that his work at Chanel (and the brand DNA itself) was basically taking hints from traditional men's garments and putting them into womenswear: tweed jackets, pants, etc. When Lagerfeld puts out a size IT48 Chanel tweed jacket and puts a man on the Chanel runway, often I think it looks great. And yet, when it comes to actual menswear, Lagerfeld is usually a miss.
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