December 6, 2019

Christian Juul Nielsen has been working hard at Hervé Léger. His approach is to slowly transition the brand, which peaked during its supermodel heyday in the early and mid-’90s with its suck-you-in bandage dresses, and bring it into the Instagram era of today. Since he took the helm in September 2018, he’s riffed on the bandage technique, noting that he doesn’t want to change the foundation of the label but rather build on it.

Having worked under John Galliano at Dior, Nielsen is technical-minded. His Dior experience showed here, especially in the dresses that had a Japanese nylon tech fabric affixed to the sides. In another instance, he created an oversize turtleneck sweatshirt out of bandages. Thanks to its stiff texture, the piece held a cool, structured silhouette that was sporty and elevated.

Speaking of sweatshirts, Nielsen excels at separates. In the past, most of the brand’s energy was put into its dresses. Some of the most fun pieces here were the knits that featured trompe l’oeil bustiers and channeled a low-key, sexy appeal. While an item like that is a small part of the label’s current offerings, it drives the point home that not everything needs to be body-con to be hot, and in fact HL has the ability to be both understated and sexy.

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