Ten years after the first iPhone was released and in a time when the thought of dial-up internet is positively nostalgic, it seems like the time is just right to have a fond look back at recent history. Robert Rodriguez’s spring collection, presented at New York Fashion Week, was full of allusions to artist and stripe aficionado Daniel Buren’s body of work, but in the millennial mind, it reads as an homage to all the stripes, dots, and gradient fills of a circa 1990 Macintosh Classic.
More Apple Watch than vintage Mac though, Rodriguez, an ApparelMagic client, used many of the graphics Buren is famous for, making them totally up to date by adding them to classic sportswear shapes. Simple shirts were updated with mismatched stripes that went vertical on one side and horizontal on the other. White-on-black polka dots covered a shirtdress with a daring slit. The suiting went a similar route, like the oversize white plastic buttons sewn across an indigo double-breasted jacket. This is the eighties through a very flattering filter.
Rodriguez’s vision for the season kept the shapes simple and direct, but these artful mashups made for visual statements much stronger than each idea on its own. In one look, a simple dotted slip dress was worn casually over cropped pants. Another dress deftly combined a harsh yellow-green with black stripes. These elements should not go together, but with Rodriguez’s eye for juxtaposition, they look spot on for spring.