Narciso Rodriguez is known for providing discriminating actresses with classy frocks — for example, the one Julia Louis-Dreyfus wore to the Emmys this year — so naturally we assumed his show would be chockablock with the smart, stylish celebrity set. We were surprised when the only person we recognized upon arrival was Giuliana DePandi, there on the job for E! News and looking similarly confounded.
Anna Wintour (with Bee Shaffer, but without Roger Federer, sadly) was one of the first to show, as she has been all week. We've heard tell of Wintour's icy runway gaze for years, but we have to admit that she's been looking pretty chipper to us. We know we're supposed to be hateful and bitchy, but we just can't help it: We love Anna, and we're not ashamed to admit it.
Beyond that, the celebrity drought had the photogs drooping from sheer boredom. They were so desperate for someone to photograph that when a small, tan, vaguely familiar man walked in with a tall blonde woman, they acted as if they'd just spotted Brad and Angelina stabbing Jennifer Aniston with a dessert fork, i.e. flashbulb central. "Is that CHUCK NORRIS?" Heather wondered. Unfortunately, it was only Tommy Hilfiger.
The ubiquitous Jessica Joffe sneaked past the press, but not the Fug Girls. After what seemed like a mix-up with her seats, she was placed very close to us, in the third row. We admit, we're concerned: First, her unseemly second-row placement at Proenza Schouler and now this? By Friday, she'll be stuck back in standing room.
We had given this show up for dead, celeb-wise, when, at the eleventh hour, the guards (predictably enough) ushered in Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore and, in a refreshing surprise, Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld.
As soon as they took their seats, the show began. We'd read that this collection was inspired by Star Wars, and Darth Vader in particular, and it showed. None of the models wore black masks, nor did any of them, say, cut off someone's hand while revealing terrible genealogical secrets, but there were very real echoes of Vader's black cape in several of the women's coats and dresses. Trust us, it worked better than that sounds.
But as far as the menswear went ... well, let's put it this way: Darth Vader — Luke Skywalker, for that matter — wouldn't be caught dead in a black tulle tank top. Nor, we suspect, would he be interested in wearing formal briefs (that is, man-shorts) or well-tailored suit jackets sans shirt. The Narciso man, on the other hand, is apparently uninterested in wearing what's required in any of New York's finer eating establishments — namely, SHIRTS and PANTS. We may be projecting, but the audience seemed to relax every time a female model trotted down the runway in a chic little cocktail dress, only to become very, very concerned when a man strolled by in shorts cut to mid-thigh and a zip-front jacket with the armpits cut out.
Jerry Seinfeld confirmed our suspicions on the way out; when an enterprising journalist asked what he was planning to buy from the collection. He said, dryly, "The hot pants, but nothing else."
Comedy-wise, we might have gone with the armpit-less blazer. But who are we to argue with the king?
Watch a slideshow of the Narciso Rodriguez collection here.