Hot and Bothered at Narciso Rodriguez


We could never forget our sheer shock and awe last season when Narciso Rodriguez showed a series of men's blazers with the armpits cut out for maximum ventilation. They looked like the result of an angry spouse's scissor-riddled tantrum. This time around, though, we probably would've welcomed them with open arms, like an oasis in a vast and sweaty desert. Because it was hot in there. Mirage hot, unless there actually was a pyramid of Diet Coke cans waving at us from on top of Amber Valletta's head. And it wasn't just the sizzling star power, though there was some of that. The overwhelming heat — a miracle, given the size of the warehouse — left the crowd fluctuating between cranky and mildly delirious.

Not that we ever saw Rachel Weisz break a sweat. She was resplendent in a creamy sheath and glittering jacket, svelter than we imagined yet still properly person-sized. At this point we don’t even care if she signs on for The Mummy 3: Dude, Where's My Sarcophagus?. We're in, all the way. And if she wants some snarky new pals with whom to go shopping, we'd be happy to show her what's what. Not that she needed our help — if we could pilfer her whole outfit, right down to the black-accented pumps, we'd do it. Rachel took a perch next to comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his wife, Jessica. They greeted each other with pecks to the cheek and chatted amiably, floating on a flashbulb cloud. Watching them, we had the most important realization we've ever had at any Fashion Week, or anywhere: Thank God no one cares who we are.

Across the way, Claire Danes washed herself out completely in a dress that appeared to be the palest shade of peachy-pink imaginable. She's incredibly fair, more so than we expected. But you know what? We're pale-skinned, too, so while we totally understand how that goes, we also cope with it by not wearing things that make us look like we've recently been reanimated. Just a tip. Also, now that she's well past her split with Billy Crudup, maybe she'll rediscover the happy-making power of food. We could have used her sternum as a washboard.

Amusingly, the photographers fussed far less over Danes than they did over Julianna Margulies, that former Clooney-kissing nurse on ER. Of course, that might have something to do with how young and hot the raven-haired actress' date was. We thought at first he might have been her brother, until she wrapped her arm through his and stroked his hands. She watched most of the show with her arm around his back, to which we say, you go, Julianna. Break off a piece of that action. Unless you are related, in which case, stop living a John Irving novel, because down that road lies expensive therapy.

Narciso coat

Julianna Margulies wants this coat.Photo: imaxtree.com

The collection bore some of the designer's futuristic hallmarks, largely in the detailing on the coats and dresses. Although after last year's stellar splashes of fuchsia and teal, we were gravely disappointed that Rodriguez stuck almost exclusively to a black, white, and cream palette. To be completely honest, the sky-high temperature and the discordant, thumping, screechy music had our heads pounding and spinning too hard to focus on much. Well, aside from wondering whether we had cute enough clothes in which to be buried when we inevitably perished from heat stroke. Maybe André Leon Talley accidentally happened upon the right idea: He arrived too late to claim a seat and nobody could find a space for him, so the Vogue legend was forced to take in the show behind a wall of PR people, his face barely visible over their headsets. Rendering ALT without a seat seems a bit like heresy to us, especially with Anna Wintour in the building, but he had the grace (and curiosity, we suppose) to stay for the entire show regardless and was probably rewarded with a less scalding climate in his spot by the door.

Margulies fell hard for a stunningly stitched floor-length white wool coat, squeezing Romeo's arm and whispering, "That's beautiful." Danes was likewise untroubled by the absence of color. She and her date — who did not appear to be rumored flame Hugh Dancy — seemed taken with several of the slinkier cocktail dresses, especially a black number with a peekaboo cutout in the back and the skimpy white silk gown that was the finale. Yes, we know, big surprise that Princess Whitewash would gravitate to something as colorless as she's become. For her sake, we hope she's back on the Zac Posen train after skipping his show last year, so that he can spice up her life with something bolder. —The Fug Girls

Watch a slideshow of the Narciso Rodriguez collection.
Watch video of the Narciso Rodriguez show.