Backstage at Narciso Rodriguez, there was a board with all of the show's looks on it. Not just the front view, but the side and back too. Season by season, Rodriguez's fixations shift. They're subtle changes, for sure, but he delights in them. And when he's good, as he was here, his customers delight in them, too. After the leggy rigor of Rodriguez's Spring show, he's loosened the silhouette up a bit. It wasn't quite slouchy, but there was a nice sense of movement in pieces like a red wool cocoon coat roomy enough for a substantial sweater underneath, and in a breezy silk dress in oxidized bronze and the faintest mint green that will feel good against bare skin when these clothes arrive in stores midsummer. On Rodriguez's structured jackets, the front was quite rigorous with arcing lines crisscrossing the torso, while the back had a forgiving, slightly rounded shape (hence the 360-degree views on the board). The ivory one in particular looked like a good match for Scandal's Olivia Pope. Other jackets were cut almost like cardigans, a point Rodriguez emphasized by lining the interior with different colors. One lapel on a gray wool jacket flapped open to reveal color-blocked blush and saffron; the other was charcoal and navy. It's the inside of clothes we're talking about. Does anybody else work as hard on such details?
The great thing about Rodriguez's work here is that the results didn't feel effortful. Someone spent a very, very long time attaching tiny bugle beads to a sleeveless shift dress. And the way the titanium, platinum, and bronze-colored beads were embroidered made them glow like poured metal. From where we were sitting, it looked a future heirloom, and yet it slipped on and fit like a favorite oversize T-shirt.