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.

Narciso Rodriguez: Futurist Patrician

Godfrey Deeny
February 06th, 2007 @ 10:26 PM

The fall 2007 collection Narciso Rodriguez presented Tuesday night marked something of a creative pause for a designer, who several times already this century was considered to have created the stellar show of the NY season. In a Chelsea show space, Rodriguez presented an elegant modernist statement, yet one were nothing looked terribly new.

Narciso probably cuts the best cocktail dresses this side of The Pond; narrow, high-waisted robes in minimalist fabrics that are not always what they seem. A really great sleek black pencil dress looked like tight raffia but was actually tweed; a beautiful silk dress on uber-walker Natasha Poly seemed to be topped in leather but was all made of silk.

Intriguing birch silk prints also made for some super elegant robes, and white boucle wool was sculpted into some great swinging jackets. Plus the designer did tweak his silhouette a tad, with echoes of Sixties Cardin, a designer whose influence was apparent in Marc Jacobs Monday night “homage” to Yves Saint Laurent.

Narciso Rodriguez is one of the few New York designers to show men’s and women’s looks together on the same catwalk, and his vision of them said as much sociologically as aesthetically.

Narciso dresses women as terribly chic patricians for an alluring future. That’s not to say that his clothes don’t look contemporary, but there’s a sense that whoever wears his fall collections is there to give orders in a Gattaca like flick. His men, on the other hand, don’t look they are on the way to any office soon; their role is to follow out the orders.

His men’s wear had mixed results. Rodriguez showed some great cashmere sweaters in contrasting color panels, with squared V-necks, but any men’s fashion editor will tell you it was the same trick Raf Simons invented for his Jil Sander debut a year ago.

In short, the collection had polish but ultimately disappointed, an impression that Narciso even appeared to acknowledge as he took his bow with a tepid smile.

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