A subtle noirish quality was in the air at Narciso Rodriguez, a feeling intensified by the foggy atmosphere at the Sir Stage37 venue. The designer had been contemplating such a mood in the days leading up to his fall collection, which made a powerful statement — in quite the literal sense, as these clothes played up the idea of the empowered woman as he saw it in the cinematic movement. “It portrayed women to be very strong and beautiful,” he said backstage before the show.
Rodriguez considered a variety of influences, from Sixties German minimalism to the graphic bronze sculptures of Lynn Chadwick and a book cover of Jessie Dumont’s “I Prefer Girls,” a work of Sixties lesbian pulp fiction. The latter, an image of two woman in a suggestive pose, one in a body-hugging red dress with matching lipstick, set the stage for these strong clothes.
The opener — a sleek red coat with black pants — indeed had a vampish quality, though elsewhere Rodriguez approached the theme with subtlety and a certain subversiveness. This came through particularly in his sculpted silhouettes that exposed just the right amount of skin and his chic double-faced wool coats, which were relaxed in their fit and featured contrast-colored lapels such as the white-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 to some of these women — a notion the designer played up with panache. Throughout, Rodriguez continued to balance more minimal silhouettes with maximal detail. Case in point, his exquisite beading work. Artfully embroidered pieces in a combination of matte and shiny for organic patterns, these shifts and shells — all shimmering in gorgeous hues of silver, violet and green — will bring extra sensuality to any noir moment.