Backstage before the show, Narciso Rodriguez was in good spirits, exuding calm and confidence. And with good reason — he was about to deliver a beautiful collection of spare silhouettes, exquisite cuts and colorful graphics that, while artsy, were executed with a perfect sense of control.
Rodriguez used his strong fall collection, which featured collaging techniques, as a starting point for spring. This time he furthered his play on construction. “I was looking at the way the masters — Vionnet and Balenciaga — cut on the bias, then translating that into something modern,” he said. His versions had a lovely fluidity, and while many of the cuts were complicated, they never looked heavy-handed or tricky.
Rodriguez, usually more comfortable working a minimalist angle, also ventured into surface embellishments. It’s unchartered territory for him, and he accomplished it with lovely results. There were laminated wood paillettes, which he applied, in one case, in an abstract motif on a striking teal and moss dress. He also added colorful floral embroidery on several chic tops. The texture added a dazzling new dimension to Rodriguez’s work, and it was terrific. So were his final two languid white slipdresses that were almost transparent were it not for their big fuchsia and magenta color blocks. These underscored Rodriguez’s growing fondness for bold tones, showing off a real sense of optimism. A confident collection, indeed.