Does a modern woman need to arm herself — sartorially speaking, that is — to survive unknowns, economic and otherwise? According to Rodriguez, absolutely.
Camouflage prints and militaristic shaping — sharp cap sleeves, tight high collars — told a warrior story, mostly one of winning moments. Rodriguez’s muse has always been body-conscious, and he constructs curve-hugging silhouettes that at their best eschew overt sizzle for streamlined sensuality, a theme that started out superbly here: chic skinny gabardine riding pants and taupe twill jackets, cut narrow with crisscross paneling. The daywear was followed with silk crepe dresses in white and acid green and lean knit sheaths, some with attached fluttering scarves and hooded bodysuits, calling to mind a lean and groovy Amelia Earhart. The jackets, too, in jacquard, mohair and wool tweed, offered up excellent cool-weather coverage, which by contrast made those Lite-Brite bandage dresses seem derivative and loud.
And while there may be only so much utility in this statement print, the black-and-white camouflage motif — worked into lace dresses and chine coats and pants and paired with Albertus Swanepoel’s terrifically spooky bucket hats — lent a clever take-no-prisoners vibe.