Julianna Margulies picked up an Emmy in a Narciso Rodriguez frock a couple weeks back. It was beaded in a subtle black ombré, with narrow straps and a dangerously low back—the kind of dress you’ve got to work hard at the gym for. Rodriguez’s Spring collection was equally body loving. Plunging V-neck tank tops with strappy harness backs came neatly tucked into high-rise pants in scuba fabric or narrow, above-the-knee skirts. Graphic color-blocking accentuated the models’ sharp angles, less so their curves.

Rigorous is the right word for those looks. Tight is another. So it was good that Rodriguez balanced them out with easier pieces, like short, fluid dresses to the mid-thigh, ensnared around the torso with thick, three-dimensional bands of beads. Anna Ewers’ white wool version with beads in bronze, brown, and pink was especially sexy. Backstage Rodriguez said he’d been thinking about water and how the light on its surface suggested seams and embroideries. It also gave him his hemlines, which undulated suggestively around the thighs.

The show could’ve done with a bit more of that free association; as it was, it felt somewhat narrow in its reach. But in the end, precision and flou came together beautifully on a trio of dresses in white and black. With their geometric panels of bugle beads, as shiny as an oil slick, and their graceful asymmetric hems, they were the best things going here.

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