A subtle noirish quality was in the air at Narciso Rodriguez, afeeling intensified by the foggy atmosphere at the Sir Stage37 venue.The designer had been contemplating such a mood in the days leading upto his fall collection, which made a powerful statement — in quite theliteral sense, as these clothes played up the idea of the empoweredwoman as he saw it in the cinematic movement. “It portrayed women to bevery strong and beautiful,” he said backstage before the show.

Rodriguezconsidered a variety of influences, from Sixties German minimalism tothe graphic bronze sculptures of Lynn Chadwick and a book cover ofJessie Dumont’s “I Prefer Girls,” a work of Sixties lesbian pulpfiction. The latter, an image of two woman in a suggestive pose, one in abody-hugging red dress with matching lipstick, set the stage for thesestrong clothes.

The opener — a sleek red coat with black pants —indeed had a vampish quality, though elsewhere Rodriguez approached thetheme with subtlety and a certain subversiveness. This came throughparticularly in his sculpted silhouettes that exposed just the rightamount of skin and his chic double-faced wool coats, which were relaxedin their fit and featured contrast-colored lapels such as thewhite-and-black ones on a green style. They looked casually thrown on,as if she were rushing away in a hurry.

There was a severity tosome of these women — a notion the designer played up with panache.Throughout, Rodriguez continued to balance more minimal silhouettes withmaximal detail. Case in point, his exquisite beading work. Artfullyembroidered pieces in a combination of matte and shiny for organicpatterns, these shifts and shells — all shimmering in gorgeous hues ofsilver, violet and green — will bring extra sensuality to any noirmoment.

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