Plain & Simple

September 28, 2008 • Magazine

Plain & Simple

Plain & Simple

Sun, 2008-09-28 08:00

Bonnie J Brown

I have a confession to make…my closet is not up to snuff as far as the latest and the greatest fashions are concerned. Even though I consider my monthly subscriptions to fashion magazines to be among my most prized possessions and pour over the glossy pages for hours on end, I think of the fashions within as more of a fantasy or fairy tale than actual real life. Let’s face it, while I love designer clothing and scour the internet and stores imagining what I would look like in everything from Dolce & Gabanna to Chanel I can’t afford to go out and buy the hottest trends season after season. Plus, I’m a mid-western girl; I think the most modern trends look good on everyone else but me.

Pity for you, you may be thinking, since the most recent trends have been over-the-top retro ensembles, but that will soon be coming to an end with at least one of the trends slated for this fall: Minimalism. While there may be moans and groans from you die hard fashionistas out there who covet the new and extravagant patterns and materials and exuberant shapes and cuts that many designers showcase on the runway from one season to the next, don’t get too down. Just think of all the talent and craftsmanship that goes into simple and classic pieces of clothing. It’s designers like Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and Ralph Lauren who are able to rework their classic designs and make them new and fresh each season and still encourage us to shop their lines, even when you have almost the exact same thing from them from a previous season. These American designers with their simple cuts and elegant silhouettes have been around for years and even though they are still on the top of their game there is one designer who is slowly taking over rank within this classic American style, Cuban born designer, Narciso Rodriguez. And it’s no wonder Narciso is becoming one of America’s top designers (even though he was born in Cuba he was raised in New Jersey, so we American’s can claim him as our own). Prior to launching his own line in 1998 Narciso worked for Donna Karen and Calvin Klein and was able to learn their aesthetics and develop his own.

As for his aesthetic and his clothing, well, what can I say? – I’m in love with them! I am thrilled that minimalism is in so I can wear an uncomplicated Narciso dress or skirt and still feel like I’m the most hip girl in the room. The details that go into his simple dresses and effortless separates are breathtaking and his skills at layering add interest and dimensions to his clothing, creating a stunning look all the while making the wearer come across even more beautiful. His emphasis lies in hugging the body with straightforward, yet elegant fabrics so he is able to highlight only the best assets of the women he dresses. This Fall 2008 season, as in seasons past, his color palate involve muted colors along with mostly navies, whites and blacks, but the details are key here and they lean towards the avant garde, with intricate stitches and body shaping patterns.

Even though Narciso is most widely known for his ready-to-wear lines, he is also known for designing Caroline Bessette-Kennedy’s wedding dress. The clean, white, sleeveless, shift dress had every woman longing for simplicity in their wedding day. His other clients include Salma Hayek, Claire Danes, Julia Louis Dreyfus and Sarah Jessica Parker, among others. The fact that these women, all with different body types, are able to look gorgeous wearing Narciso Rodriguez clothing makes keeping up on the latest trends not so important, especially when his clothing lines trend seamlessly into one another. You’re able to wear something from fall 2000 and still look like a trend setter in fall 2008. Looking good in your clothing is the best trend to follow, and Narciso designs clothing to look good on women.

1. Caroline Bessette-Kennedy Wedding Dress 1996,
2. Narciso Rodreguez Fall 2008 RTW,
3. Narciso Rodreguez Fall 2008 RTW,
4. Narciso Rodreguez Fall 2000 RTW,
5. Narciso Rodreguez Fall 2000 RTW,
6. Narciso Rodreguez Fall 2004 RTW,
7. Claire Danes & Narciso Rodriguez,

Image Layout: Jessica Piraro

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