The first thing you noticed was the new proportion. Narciso Rodriguez brought hems up to the mid-thigh, sometimes higher, at his terrific show tonight with something he's dubbed the "half-skirt." A hybrid, its front panel wraps only partway around, revealing the neat (and, let's call them what they are, modesty-protecting) shorts underneath. Problem solving isn't sexy, but it's a key to Rodriguez's success; he never forgets to balance desire with practicality. There was more going on here, though, than minis.

While the overall silhouette was quite flat and simple, one by one the pieces were put together in complicated ways. A sleeveless shift was stitched from geometric slices of pastel brocades, and a white slipdress was composed from panels of sheer silk and opaque crepe. The crucial point is: Nothing looked overworked; on the contrary, there was a real sensuality. Perhaps the clothes that best conveyed that were the three slipdresses at the end. From a distance they read like a print, or maybe like the dévorés that came before them, but as the model breezed by you saw that the designs were actually bonded to the silk. Rodriguez called it "a new kind of lace," and the frocks were fairly sublime.

Tailoring has been a big part of the story at Rodriguez's last two collections. It wasn't the main event here, but it was nonetheless inventive. A collarless white wool jacket with a deep black inset at the hem was sharp and graphic—just about perfect.