The Narciso Rodriguez Fall 2012 collection seems to be one of extremes—pieces are either sleek, smooth and almost inflated with air, or slashed, slit and jagged-edged, revealing warm pops of color (russet, Bordeaux, tangerine).
The very first item on the runway, a chartreuse bonded wool coat, falls into the former category, the texture like virgin snow, not a wrinkle or crinkle, and with a slightly exaggerated hem puffed out like the bottom of a bell. Another russet wool coat toys with gravity, floating down the runway.
Other dresses that followed were lighter and more varied in texture. One could imagine some of them being the product of an origami class…others, perhaps, the result of a lovers’ quarrel. (Note to self: Hide scissors till we kiss and make up.)
Rodriguez took a blade to tangerine silk tops and wool/silk dresses, adding diagonal seams and uneven hems. A bright red sleeveless dress with diagonal seams looked like a piece of fabric had been hitched up on the hip. Another had an undulating panel of fabric down the side, accentuating the curves of a model’s hip and waist.
The slice and dice approach may be inventive to some, or too tattered, depending on your taste. The trouble came in the final looks, a series of silk tops and skirts cut on the bias, with big, asymmetrical slits and hems, and long trains trailing behind. Except…they didn’t trail, but kept fluttering and whipping back underfoot, tethering round the models’ ankles as they walked. This made for an awkward, uneven gait. Rodriguez may need an aeronautical engineer from Grumman to explain how to give the fabric more vertical uplift.