Joseph Altuzarra once told us that, style-wise, he didn’t believe in “minimal for minimal’s sake”, which we interpreted as “don’t be lazy”. As much as we wish throwing on a dress and not bothering to layer or accessorize would always work, we’re not Carolyn Bessette. Sometimes, our simplest looks aren’t basic and chic, they’re basic and boring.
Enter Narciso Rodriguez’s latest collection. The master of minimal added so much movement to his clothes this season, we had trouble keeping up—in a good way. Slashed hems and diagonal folds rendered even the monochrome numbers conversation pieces, like a powder blue sheath with angular folds and seams between an asymmetrical neckline and hem. Or the five predominately white looks that closed the show: light, gauzy, and draped in a way that was unusual, but clean. It’s the kind of artful stuff you really can’t accessorize; it’d almost just be rude.
When working in color, Rodriguez manipulated patchwork, in geometric bits of orange, aqua, red, and putty. Popping up in unsuspected corners (the wrists of a tan jacket dipped in fire engine red, a single quadrant of a white dress spiked light blue), the colors were deployed like artillery. Why wasn’t the entire bottom of the dress blue, instead of a seemingly random section? What’s with that shard of white in the middle of the red block? Nothing was even or expected, with each piece feeling a bit like a puzzle. It was an assault on convention—again, in good way. This, it seems, is basic and chic in bottled form.