ABOVE: GLORIA ESTEFAN (LEFT) WITH CLAIRE DANES
Claire Danes, Gloria Estefan and Tory Burch watched from the front row as Narcisco Rodriguez sent a series of vibrant, brilliantly constructed dresses, skirts, trousers and coats down the runway last night.
After last season’s show, Simon Doonan told us that Rodriguez “is a genius,” and we might agree. The specific location of Rodriguez’s genius is his rigorously intelligent architecture and artful color-blocking techniques. Rodriguez has long been the most painterly of American designers. With each collection, he reinterprets his geometric use of color as seasons, fabrics, and hues change. The aquatic blues and corals on floating white panels of spring 2012 evolved into Fall 2012’s autumnal palette of tangerines, russets and chestnuts, with occasional pops of chartreuse. Rodriguez said that he was influenced by “collage and vintage film stills and many artists” but we especially saw touches of Josef Albers’s geometric abstraction and Richard Diebenkorn’s color fields.
He told us, “it was about taking compact fabric and cutting it and seaming it so that it was fun and sculptural but still wearable and interesting.”
His dresses were intricate marvels of folds, and he designed the freshest skirt of this Fashion Week: mermaid bias day skirts, cut short in the front, with fluttering trains of fabric in the back. We also loved the Mondrian-meets-Twiggy op-art geometric boots in suede and ostrich. “I think I’ve been doing that shoe since I was 10 years old! I’ve been doing it for so long, but this season I think the color added a great deal.”
Danes, who frequently wears Rodriguez, said, “As always, his shapes and his colors and the way in which the clothes move is just extraordinary.” Danes currently plays a CIA officer on the Showtime series Homeland, which won the Golden Globe for Best Drama in January. “I’m currently ‘working on’ resting so that I can work some more on Homeland!” she told us. The series begins shooting its second season this spring.
Estefan said, “I’ve been a huge fan of Narcisco’s forever and I’m very proud of everything he’s accomplished.” Estefan wore Rodriguez in the Red Dress show last Wednesday. She said that her experience on the catwalk “was my first time on a runway, at least since I was nine years old that is, when I did my school fashion show in pajamas. Your first thought is ‘please don’t let me fall,’ but it was for a good cause, and having professional models there helped. They have to keep a composure that I don’t; I was smiling, waving, almost dancing.”
Estefan was wearing red again: “It’s Valentine’s Day!” Before leaving for Rodriguez’s after party, we asked Dane how she was celebrating Valentine’s Day. “My valentine is Narcisco right this second.”