Narciso Rodriguez kept us in the dark for Autumn/Winter 2010 - theoretically speaking, of course. His oblique inspiration were light-effects and falling shade - thus tailoring played on two-tone fabric contrasts ice light and dark patterning the surface, and silk dresses and separates professed to be printed with 'shadows' - a notion which in actual fact shaped up as variations on ombre patterns through rust, grey and black. The latter were simply, unfussy and satisfying enough - shifts draped loosely around the body and falling to mid-thigh - but the strength in this collection was undoubtedly in the outerwear, a sensible focus when showing in sub-zero spring temperatures and thinking about a biting winter yet to come. Rodriguez gave next season's staple shearling coat a rigorous reinterpretation, slicing and dicing them, curving seams around the shoulders and topstitching quadruple rows of darts at the waist. With concealed fastenings and funnel necks, they were some of the best of the season. Likewise the fabric pieces - once more influenced by shadow, Rodriguez trimmed black coats with grey or taupe in doubleface angora or felted wool, so the raglan shoulders on a sharp, bulky black jacket came in the contrast shade. As the models walked by, you could just make out the same shade peeking through the flush front: contrast colour was bonded to the felted body of the garment, to make it doubleface and therefore chicly reversible. The shape was strong throughout, boldly curving at the shoulder and standing firm from the body like a medieval cuirass. Occasionally, they came as next season's cocoon shape, or a couple of waffle neoprene anoraks (again reversible) that glistened like chainmail. With those kind of references, there was, again, a discernible military feel to proceedings - underlined rather heavily when a couple of models marched out with what looked like like calfskin kubankas set atop their heads. Thankfully, they were minor distractions to a fine collection of urbane, simple clothes women should be fighting to wear. What more could you wish for, really?
With concealed fastenings and funnel necks, they were some of the best of the season.