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Controlled Experimentation at Narciso Rodriguez

This season marked a departure from Narciso Rodriguez's usual body-skimming silhouettes as he offered voluminous shapes and intricate beadwork, says Jessica Michault.
Source: Nowfashion.com
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  • Nowfashion

NEW YORK, United States — It's always exhilarating to see an established designer like Narciso Rodriguez continue to find ways to challenge himself while remaining true to the codes he has crafted for his label. This season, the designer accomplished this through an exploration of volume that pushed him away from his razor sharp silhouettes into slightly more uncharted territory. It was a terrain he conquered effortlessly.

“I wanted to create an easy, relaxed silhouette that had volume and structure but still very feminine. So we played with dense materials that evolved throughout the collection into fine light woolens that deconstruct in a way to reveal their linings and colors,” explained Rodriguez backstage after his show.

But in the world of this designer, relaxed is a long way from loose or — God forbid — slouchy. Rodriguez is always in control. Be it in the way he gave a linear definition to his fuller proportions through vertical lines of color zipping down the body of shift dresses; or more subtly, the introduction of what seemed to be random needlework on a top or dress designed to simply act as a minimalistic form of embellishment on the monochrome garments.

Other showstoppers in this collection included a classic black crepe dress, which could have looked reserved if it weren't for the way Rodriguez folded the fabric down and back to reveal not just the glossy lining but also a sexy triangle of skin at the center of the model's torso. And his matte and shiny "slip on and go" tops that swooped longer into a fluid silk back were sporty and chic.

Much of the detail work in this show would be almost impossible to pick up on by just looking at photos of the collection or watching a live-streamed video. But one section where the designer’s skill could be appreciated by anyone was in his finale of stunning beadwork pieces. The intricate way he revisited the matte and shiny idea by blending thousands of bugle beading so that the contrasting flat and flash of the beads gave an organic movement to a shift dress or sleeveless top, was masterfully done.

This sleek and sophisticated show was a splendid lesson in the craft of making clothing. One that other designers could learn a thing or two from.

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