Rolando Santana is an established designer whose collection is sold in Neiman Marcus as well as boutiques in the south and in Mexico. Known for refined ready-to-wear with a focus on cocktail dressing, he has broadened his point of view lately, mixing in looks that could lure a younger customer. For fall, he favored silhouettes reminiscent of post-war Dior — a black off-the-shoulder dress with beading and a tapered hemline and a chic champagne-hued brocade cocktail dress with a fur collar — but he crafted them with natural lines that didn’t look dated.
More youthful were the gold-sequined T-shirt knotted at the waist and paired with a full black skirt, the standout gray turtleneck and poof skirt with gold crystal beading, and the perfectly subtle long-sleeve navy gown with a ruched waist. Great fur capelets, cropped jackets and vests, often in sheared mink, provided visual interest. While the collection was lovely — Robin Wright, Lupita Nyong’o and Marcia Gay Harden have all worn his clothes — a poorly produced show effectively brought it all down a notch.