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story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Adrianna Favero
web editor Rachel Reneé
Narciso Rodriguez has a great American success story. Born to working class Cuban parents in Newark, New Jersey, he worked his way up through the maze of New York fashion to be one of the preeminent American designers working today. His shows are some of the most anticipated of each New York Fashion Week and this season was no different. Clean lines, crisp clothes and subtle structures have always been Mr. Rodriguez’s calling card, and this season was no different.
But like all great designers, there is always an element of exploration, and that too was in evidence on the Lincoln Center runway. Perfectly oversized jackets were shaped with just enough extra volume so that they created shape without being boxy or swallowing the female form. Curving asymmetrical bands provided great points of visual interest on blouses and dresses. Particularly noteworthy along with the aforementioned jackets were the collection’s only pieces with any length. The last five looks down the runway all featured a full length skirt that had been cut away in the front mid thigh. The fabric flared immediately back creating a lightweight short train that fluttered cape like easily in the breeze as the models walked. Such a simple idea with such great impact.
The handbags that the models carried spoke the whole collection’s message. Narciso Rodriguez designs for women who have active lives, work, goals, and the practical needs that arise from them. His clothing is never awkward or restrictive. He meets the challenge of finding other ways to fascinate and draw attention to the women who wear his clothes. It would be insultingly simplistic to say that Mr. Rodriguez is a minimalist or is of the less is more school. He has proven many times in the past that his palette is far broader than can be so dismissively defined. It his ability to create clean and powerful designs that are sometimes simple and sometimes complex but appear simple that carries both Narciso Rodriguez and his work to the top of American fashion.