Backstage before his show, Narciso Rodriguez told a story about the late Oscar de la Renta. “Oscar once said, ‘You know, it’s not fashion until a woman wears it.’ That’s so true.” Rodriguez was making a larger point about our sobering times. In this environment, he argued, there’s just no room for silly, superfluous clothes. That has never, ever been Rodriguez’s issue. What you see on his runway is what you get online and in department stores.
Nonetheless, the chaotic state of the world has had the effect of sharpening his focus. This collection felt more vital than Rodriguez’s recent outings, with clothes that had what he called a “covet factor.” A black jumpsuit with ladder cutouts on the chest and an iris silk slip dress with black gauze tracing the armholes numbered among the singular pieces you won’t find anywhere else in New York. No one can match Rodriguez’s disciplined precision.
But this collection wasn’t so rigorous as to be alienating. The best look—it also happened to be Rodriguez’s favorite—was a black top with cape-like split sleeves that extended almost to the hem of a side-slit white skirt. Dramatic, but a joy to wear. Elsewhere, Rodriguez’s trademark-engineered seam tailoring underwent some big seasonal tweaks. Pants were cut with ease and cropped well above the ankle, and he preferred showing them with a longer coat or a super-fine-gauged, shin-grazing cardigan. The show’s barely-there shades of mint and yellow felt fresh; gray flannel pants and the coppery hue of suede ankle boots had us wondering if we could recreate the look with what’s already in our closet.
New York, February 15th 2017. Article by Nicole Phelps