“It seems like a no-brainer,” said Michelle Ochs of the way she put a bandage style maxi dress with embellished slashes running diagonally across the body under one of her gently oversized tailored jackets. Ochs is just two collections in at Hervé Léger, but she’s managing to imbue a sense of ease into a language that can very easily feel—and look—contrived.
The second-skin tightness of it all was old news until a few years ago when Kim Kardashian launched SKIMS and ushered in the return of bodycon and shapewear. Add to that the post-pandemic boom of lingerie-like clothing and you’ve got a good opportunity to set up a new era at Hervé Léger, one of the originators of this “the-body-is-the-look” trend (see also: Azzedine Alaïa). But Ochs’s challenge at Léger isn’t to find a market as much as it is to convince us that there can be modernity to the brand’s legacy fabrications. “We’ve got this great look, and we’re harkening to some of the archive, but I try to imagine that this woman is wearing this now,” Ochs said at a preview. “It’s still body contouring, but it’s different proportions that push things forward.”
Case in point: What would have been a cheeky mini back in the aughts is now a maxi or sometimes a midi. The bandage dresses that reveal the back are often more covered up in the front, and, rather than finding sexiness in baring it all, Ochs is betting on the tease—some of her most compelling iterations of the bandage have slashes in between some bands, offering a hint of leg here, some torso there. “You have to balance it out!” she said with a laugh. The big winner in this lineup is a bandage LBD draped around a keyhole frame. “It keeps everything in its place,” said the designer.
What’s been most interesting about Ochs at Legér thus far is her commitment to finding novelty in the brand’s existing language. Her sequin pieces are actually all knits that stretch as far as her bandage gowns do. In one case (look 15), she removed the Lycra from the bandage knit to keep the language but give it more ease. The result has an air of sophistication Léger will benefit from moving forward. As Awards season kicks-off, we’ll surely see more of Ochs’s gowns—they’re a red carpet no-brainer.