The Color Purple

No, not the movie or the play, but Narciso Rodriguez’ 2008 breezy spring-summer collection.

The color purple, associated with royalty, was prevalent in Narciso’s collection shown last night at 547 West 26th. Many shades of violet (lavender, plum, lilac, purple) appeared in this totally fresh and crisp collection interspersed with timeless classics in white, black, cobalt blue and ecru. The collection was well balanced with his architectural pantsuits, easy day dresses and sensual evening numbers that still showed his signature design construction. Known for his geometrical designs, dresses had simple geometrical details and some with touches of…, you guessed it, shades of the color purple.

Slim ankle length pants with peplum jackets and asymmetrical skirt lengths on day dresses cater to his young and chic clientele. For evenings in spring, he came out with 2 precious “rose dresses” – an ecru shift and a black coat dress filled with 2 inch rosettes. There was a splash of burnt orange in one of his silk dresses for the eyes to feast on while model after model came out wearing modern basics. It was a very mature collection from Narciso whose company was recently bought by Liz Claiborne. (The first time in American fashion history that a mainstream clothier had bought a niche luxury brand.) Narciso Rodriguez has a good command of working different fabrics and he certainly showed his craft in this 51-piece collection.

The color purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, and creativity. Here is a veteran designer who embodies those traits and in his noble sensibility has created a collection of garments that can be used season after season. That is the mark of a good designer and for his first major collection with his new partner, it was a success. That is something you can ‘take all the way to the bank’.

Actresses Juliana Margulies and Rachel Weisz, David Byrne of the ‘Talking Heads’ and Ivanka Trump were some of the celebrities present to support him. Bottles of Narciso Rodriguez men’s fragrance named “For Him”, made by Shiseido’s Beaute Prestige International unit were given to the audience.

-Anna Bayle-



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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