With the conclusion of the Audi Fashion Festival in May (and it feels like aeons ago, now that we are almost at the end of November), Women’s Fashion Week has descended upon us. From the inauguration of the Men’s Fashion Week in 2010, I believe that the Women’s Fashion Week too, has come a long way. Both have evolved, from featuring up-and-coming edgy Asian designers, to music extravaganzas, to Couture affairs graced by the masters themselves. This year, it is without the trappings of pomp and fanfare of previous years, but I don’t look forward to it any less. In fact, it feels like a much cosier affair.

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Opening Women’s Fashion Week this year is Max Azria’s Herve Leger Fall/Winter 2012 presentation. It was… Glamazonian. As if the magic formula of a bandage dress that hugs all the right curves and renders flaws negligible isn’t enough, Herve Leger ups the ante this season with themes that delve deeper and darker, featuring black leather and black fur alongside equestrienne leather body harnesses. Strong and valiant, with knee-high gladiator stilettos to boot, the Herve Leger girl this season is an ultra-modern Joan of Arc getting ready for battle.

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What was new were the dresses with varied pleated, just-above-the knee, and flippy skirts. As much as I appreciate the silhouette that every Herve Leger creates, it always felt a little too… bodycon for me. Too short, too tight, too restrictive. But this season, while still retaining its recognizable silhouette, the dresses had a certain free-spirited vibe to them, allowing for more movement. After all, there’s more to embodying the Joan of Arc spirit than merely sitting pretty.

Images: Herve Leger