Paris Hilton, who sauntered into Narciso Rodriguez's show with Tinkerbell cradled in her arms, seems like an unlikely fan. She's way too flash for this designer's understated, architectural chic. But perhaps she gleaned something from Rodriguez's scuba-tight seamed constructions, something his many boldface followers already know: Covering up can be sexy. The proof is in his fabulous coats, from a pale-red double-face wool to a corseted herringbone style slashed almost fetishistically above the breasts to reveal the clothes or bare skin beneath.
This wasn't one of Rodriguez's quieter shows. There was plenty of black and white, of course, but he continued to experiment with vivid color, showing even ankle boots andin a departure from his signature stilettosstacked-heel pumps in fuchsia suede. They added a jolt to even his strictest suit, which this season came in three pieces: a man's jacket, a slim skirt, and a fitted tank in place of the more traditional vest. In addition to tanks, bra tops and harnesses did double duty under cocktail dresses or, for aesthetic rather than structural effect, over coats. Another reinvention was the cut-above-the-bust bolero that Rodriguez showed in a cashmere blend, in microsequins, and finally in wool fleece over one of his wonderful, weightless gowns.