NEW YORK, United States — Brandon Maxwell is a showman. This season, he chose the Appel room at the Time Warner Center — which is set up like a Greek theatre, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a majestic Central Park — as his venue. As if that wasn’t enough, a fog machine blasted white clouds onto the stage. Bella Hadid floated out in a grey flannel cashmere gown tied up like a robe.
It’s never dull with Maxwell, but it can be labourious. And yet, while past seasons have felt weighed down by heavy fabric and stiff silhouettes, his touch is lighter now. There is tangible progression, not only in terms of the way he handles fabrics — flat-pleated crepe hugging the body’s curves on a bias-cut cocktail number, chunky wool tailored into a one-shouldered mini — but also in his ability to master categories beyond evening wear, which he has demonstrated with smart denim and luxe knits. The best thing he did was a pair of high-waisted, flat front trousers, rendered in grey wool and striped in matching sequins. They were as fabulous as any gown.