Before the start of the Narciso Rodriguez show, Gloria Estefan, whoshares the designer’s Cuban heritage, took a front-row seat, her Latinbeats blasting on repeat. They led some to think that Rodriguez wouldexplore his vibrant roots for fall. From the first exit — a drop-waistchartreuse coat with an architectural skirt — it was clear he hadsomething else on his mind. “There’s so much inspiration that went intoit,” Rodriguez said after the show. “Collaging, collecting, color, filmstills, many artists, the film world. A lot of thinking.”

There was indeed a lot to ponder in the lineup, most of it great.Rodriguez played up his strong construction skills, layering togetherdifferent colors and fabrics for pieces with a Japanese feel, like thedraped kimono effect on an orange silk top with a deep red skirt thatappeared wrapped. In some cases, such as the asymmetric burgundy andsaffron halter slipdress, it seemed like two dresses were layered intoone. The techniques could have looked awkward, but Rodriguez executedthem exquisitely. His new accessories collection, which made its debuton the runway, was a strong addition and featured some fabulouscolor-blocked gloves and functional handbags in exotic skins and suede.

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