Somehow the Narciso Rodriguez for Kohl's Collection has flown largely under the radar. Where are the huge, full-page ads and edgy commercials a la Missoni for Target? Perhaps it's that Kohl's doesn't have quite the same cachet (!?) as Target, or maybe they were just trying to avoid the kind of full-on offensive rush that Target experienced during its Missoni -- and, to a lesser degree, it's Jason Wu -- capsule collection launch events.
Rodriguez is known for strong, clean lines, and his modern take on American women's clothing reflects his beginnings with Donna Karan and Calvin Klein. Some of his more famous pieces include Caroline Bessette-Kennedy's wedding gown, and Michelle Obama's (rather controversial) 2008 election night frock. The first lady has continued to revisit Rodriguez again and again; Mrs. O, the style blog devoted to Michelle's sartorial choices, has a full sixty-three entries under "Narciso Rodriguez." Rodriguez outnumbers Mrs. O's other favorites -- Michael Kors and J.Crew -- by 13 entries apiece.
The Narciso Rodriguez "DesignNation" for Kohl's collection has been available since November 7 (the election outcome probably didn't hurt the timing, huh?) and surprisingly a great deal remains available for sale online. In fact, the prices have been reduced, so combined with the remaining availability of sizes and pieces, this is a great opportunity to shop the collection. Let's take a look.
Of the 100 original pieces in the line, 30 were exclusive to Kohls.com; currently, 65 pieces remain on sale in a variety of sizes. The collection was inspired by a trip the designer took to Turkey, and is heavy on color-blocking and strong, graphic lines; a few wearable prints are also included. Among the more flattering details are asymmetrical necklines and belts placed at the natural waist; naturally, the color-blocking is done to great slimming effect, such as in this Ponte Sheath Dress in Mulberry. ($32 from $64; large & X-Large only.)
While it is true that the line has been picked over in the weeks since its release, there are a few gems Rodriguez fans will not want to miss. Among them:
• Tweed Pencil Skirt ($29 from $58; sizes 8, 12, 14 available): A terrific wardrobe staple, but the tweed creates visual interest. A basic, but not a boring one.
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• Colorblock Georgette Tunic ($27 from $54; X-Small to X-Large available): This shirt, in a teal and black combo, is simple, easy to wear and available in all sizes.
• Pieced Tweed Sheath Dress ($60 from $120; sizes 4-16 available): It's kind of incredible that this dress is still available in so many sizes. Worn alone it's appropriate for evening, or pair with a white shirt underneath and tall, black boots to make it office-appropriate.
• Pleated Shift Dress ($35 from $70; X-Small, Medium, Large, X-large available): An asymmetric necklines makes this basic jersey dress in a solid color (purple) anything but boring.
• Colorblock Dress ($35 from $70; X-Small through X-Large available in Cobalt/Mulberry or Mulberry/Burgundy): Another great dress available in all sizes and all colors. A $35 dress you'll wear over and over again -- easy, appropriate, flattering.