One of the perks of the pre-fall season is discovering parts of a designer's collection that don't make it to the runway, because they're too basic or not editorial enough or what have you. Our discovery at Narciso Rodriguez today was his knits. The designer reported that the knits portion of his business has tripled in size over the last several seasons, and with their optical stripes and color-blocked designs, you could see why. Not only the sweaters but also the sleeveless stretchy shifts were reversible, adding to their appeal.
Leather is another category that's growing for Rodriguez. A pair of sheaths, one in stretch leather and another in softest calfskin, showcased his mastery of the materials at hand. Their silhouettes were virtually identical—even their colors were nearly the same—but thanks to the ways each were constructed, they were unique enough that you could see the most devoted of Narciso fans rationalizing buying both.
In the end, pre-fall is a sales-driven season, and Rodriguez used the opportunity to revisit some of the hits from his brilliant Spring collection, adding a contrasting stripe of color to his hip-slung, cropped trousers and recutting his languidly tailored jackets in heavier-weight crepes. The collection wasn't without a new hit of its own. A leather T-shirt worn with ankle-length, tapered pants in a slightly different shade of red captured the easy spirit of his last runway show and also put the emphasis on his bold color sense.