February 10, 2003 New York
Rodriguez continued with the long, lean silhouette he showed in the spring, using rigorously precise cutting and tailoring to sculpt form-fitting dresses and suits. There were great examples of his whip-thin, athletic dresses, done in black or white with geometric accents detailing the hips and shoulders, as well as beautiful suits with skirts or slim pants that came just to the ankle. And while the lines were spare, there was luxury built into each piece, such as when the designer combined two or three fabrics in one outfit—velvet, silk and marocain, for example—for a play of textures.
In a week where a lot of time has been spent looking back at the past, it was refreshing to see a show that had virtually no retro references; although clearly schooled in minimalism, Rodriguez has a fashion vocabulary all his own. He has also loosened up, just a bit. The silhouette had a bit more swing, in the form of a flaring black velour coat and some mesmerizingly floaty hems on a few dresses and skirts. His evening pieces were dazzlingly simple: cool columns of chiffon, matte silk and marocain, done in white or, for the last number, the coolest lavender silk, which breezed off the runway like a beautiful memory.