Monday Muse: Hervé Léger Celebrates 30 Years

Herve Leger Spring 2016

Herve Leger Spring 2016

Believe it: It’s been 30 years since Hervé Léger debuted the bandage dress. While Hervé Léger the man isn’t at Hervé Léger the label anymore, the DNA of that very first bandage dress has lived on season after season, teetering on stilettos and oozing sex appeal from each and every curve. The iconic bandage dress has become a symbol of sex and femininity (Laverne Cox wore one on the cover of Time), but to celebrate three decades of Léger, creative director Max Azria didn’t look backwards. No, a retrospective collection would have been too easy. Instead, he and wife Lubov looked to the future — though there was a touch of nostalgia.

Let’s get it out of the way: Spring 2016’s collection had exactly zero bandage dresses. Instead of reimagining the label’s bread and butter, the designers showed a collection that nodded to those bandage dresses without actually using bandages. Instead, Max and Lubov used trompe l’oeil, jacquard and clever weaving. The dresses moved and felt like bandage dresses (they didn’t move, like their foremothers, and seemed stiff and structured), but upon closer inspection, the fit-and-flare frocks were woven from cords or sat under a subtle netting. So fans of the label will have plenty to shop and will definitely find the new versions fresh and light.

RELATED: Monday Muse: Hervé Léger Blends Bandages & Samurai Culture

Herve Leger Spring 2016

Herve Leger Spring 2016

Another big development? Pants. Yes, the staple in every other collection finally made its runway debut at Hervé Léger. Previously, the Azrias showed moto-inspired leggings (in bandage, naturally), but this time around, there were legitimate trousers and jumpsuits, some kicking out in baby flares, elongating legs to giraffe-like proportions, even when worn under a dress or tunic. There was also development in shape — dresses had curvilinear patterns and strategically placed panels that carved the body and traced out curves. Thanks to cutouts and a skin-skimming silhouette, the sex was there, it was just less in-your face, though no less va-va-voom.

And that 30 year anniversary? That came at the end of the show, where a parade of all-white looks came out, each one from a past collection and the final look from spring 2016. Done up in optic white, looks such as the barely there swimsuit from the line’s swim debut, the flowing combination of bandages and chiffon, the gladiator-inspired harness dresses and the classic strapless bandage dress looked less retro than classic. It just goes to show that if something is truly not broken, there’s no reason to fix it. But on the other hand, that doesn’t mean it can’t use a little update. Who would have though that Hervé Léger would be the label to balance future-facing progress with nostalgia so perfectly?

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Images courtesy Hervé Léger

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.