nyfw: narciso rodriguez

(images via vogue)

although, granted, there have been a couple of seasons which i’ve believed to have been something of a ‘miss’, on the whole, i’ve pretty much loved everything designer narciso rodriguez has been turning out at new york fashion week both from the time opt has been covering his work (see a/w 2010, pre-fall 2011, a/w 2011, s/s 2012, s/s 2013, pre-fall 2013) and much before, but honestly, even as a fan, i think i can confidently avow that he’s been turning up the skill in recent seasons and showing some of his best work ever. seriously, if i’d call the s/s 2012 range my personal standout favourite collection of his yet, then the latest, for the a/w 2013 season, would likely clock in a close second.

and the critics had a lot to say this time around, so i’ll just let them take it on from here. “Narciso—New York’s great minimalist—is on top of his game,” fashion week daily merrily reported. “Rodriguez showed unfussy, sexy bias-cut dresses in black, white, and jewel tones, picking up the chevron shapes of the bias-pattern pieces in the angles of jackets and separates. Hunter orange—having a moment in its own right this season—made a strong showing here. The runway flood was like a parade of pumpkin hues. For a finale, Rodriguez showed a series of evening looks (three dresses and a pants-and-a-top combo) done in black fabrics embellished with black beading. Just the right touch of glam, non?”

meanwhile, us vogue meandered along that his “source of inspiration [was] Brazilian artist Lygia Clark…The folds and architecture of her sculptures were echoed in Rodriguez’s designs. He showed minimal, angular blazers over tops with asymmetrical hems that folded back and forth to create layers. They started out in stark black-and-white, but then Rodriguez smartly engaged his strong understanding of color and combined pieces in navy, magenta, and a sort of matte tangerine. The overall look was typically streamlined, if not as restricted as he’s shown in the past. There were also a lot of slip dresses, mixing crepe and silk, with sharp, geometric seams and jagged hems…A few more modestly cut versions with high necks came in rich tones like magenta and teal.”

“Clean and geometric-inspired, but not too serious. Clothes that played with the tension between hard and soft, mixing textures and bold colors,” the la times clipped along. “The chic combination of black and navy made for a compelling opening series of tailored separates, including a merino wool sleeveless top, coat and jacket with contrast color panels or overlapping, asymmetrical hems. The look was rigorous and disciplined, until the color and volume burst out. Then, the ideas came rapid-fire. A tangerine crepe dress with pinched folds at the collar. A crepe top, cut on the diagonal, with a trailing asymmetrical silk charmeuse hem, worn over pants.  Dresses with fitted bodices, string-thin straps and asymmetrical silk skirts that caught the air like kites. Evening tops and skirts with stringy jet black beading.”

elsewhere, the nyt‘s cathy horyn mused that “(t)he most interesting details this season are embedded in the clothes: in the seams of jackets, the origami folds of bonded fabrics at the hems of tops, the crumbly texture of embroidery on the fronts of plain black evening tops and shifts. The collection ranges from impeccable, almost tough-looking suits to serene wool coats in shades of wasabi and cognac to a sleeveless white crepe top with an asymmetrical panel of black duchess satin. That top, worn with pants, offers informality, novelty and grace in one punch. How he made the satin do the work is his secret.”

and according to fab sugar, “(s)lim cigarette pants, architectural tunics, and flattering dresses displayed his mastery with colorblocking, intricate pattern piecing, and origami-esque folds. Rodriguez injected bold color among his beloved black and white, with bright orange, goldenrod, and teal, adding pops within the daywear. His foray into accessories continues successfully with exaggerated cap-toe pumps and structured leather clutches — perfect accents to his clothing designs.”

“it wouldn’t be a Narciso collection without a little rigor,” declared style. “His tailoring is precise, maybe a shade or two closer to the body than last time around. Cutaway jackets came lapel-less, with narrow sleeves, their angular shapes highlighted by the A-line tunics worn underneath them. Pants tapered to above the ankle. A favorite look paired a sleek bustier with those slim, short trousers. His footwear collection is just a year old, but he’s a quick study, and his shoes tonight deserve a shout-out, too. Pumps with pointy cap toes, high vamps, higher stiletto heels, and delicate ankle straps, they don’t look like anything else on the runways this week. And the same could be said for the rest of this standout show.”

and in their characteristically abbreviated fashion, the ny post described how “(s)tarting with signature black and white, Narciso quickly and boldly moved into bright colors of tangerine, fuchsia and teal paired with neutrals or tone-on-tone for a continued embrace to color after his last show. Roomy styles were key, from loose shell tops to sleeveless uneven hemmed dresses that added movement with each step,” before concluding that “Narciso has successfully kept up with the ever fickle fashion customer, all while holding onto his signature look.”

then, wwd wandered in to say that “(t)hroughout, Rodriguez demonstrated his precise construction techniques. He cut fabrics into triangular shapes and layered them for a lovely slipdress with a green top and blue skirt, and a bustier dress with a black bodice and blue-and-cream skirt. They were at once sexy and elegant. Rodriguez’s use of laser-bonding technique was a particular highlight: Two body-conscious dresses read perforated materials but were actually worked in a combination of crepe and silk charmeuse. The effect was strong, optical and arty.”

“The overarching vibe of the clothes was clean and modern, but not restrictive,” was the washington post‘s take. “He opened with a black top that had a swath of white at the bottom and a skinny-leg black pant, and closed with a jet-black embroidered dress. He was going for graphic, he said, and, of course, he loves architectural shapes. His sleeveless navy wool sheath with seams down the bodice and black racing stripes down the side reminded the crowd he knows how to use them. The many bias-cut silhouettes and unfinished fabric edges kept it from being severe. He also gave his blessing to severe pointy-toe shoes, something accessories lovers shopping at any end of the price-point spectrum can embrace: They elongate the look of the leg.”

and uk vogue offered that “(l)ines were fluid and controlled – see tunic tops that boasted something of a peplum but which were free-flowing and combined of silk and crepe in tangerine and magenta shades. Spaghetti straps on simple but bodiced dresses made for a seriously pretty and precise offering while elsewhere it was merely about shifts in lattice-effect hues and softly-cut silhouettes of tailoring in white. Rodriguez does minimal and simple but he doesn’t do stark – his look is one of elegance and wearability that comes with a warmth. But he’s committed to his fashion camp and it would be strange for him to stray.”

finally, chimed in suzy menkes of the iht, “(i)f anything can get New Yorkers to abandon black, it will be this season’s intriguing colors. Blood orange deepening to rust, gradations of green and vivid fuchsia were inserted skillfully into the more familiar graphic shades in the Narciso Rodriguez collection. Here is a designer who just keeps getting better by pushing the boundaries without abandoning his core vision: graphic clothes built on a strict geometry. But Mr. Rodriguez has loosened up his once body-conscious clothes, so that slim pants or swaying dresses followed the form without ever clinging to it. The designer, once wedded to minimalism, also has taken his hand to decoration, with rivulets of tiny beads. In all: an exemplary exercise in keeping a fashion spirit intact while moving forward.”

(enjoy the show video here)

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