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Rolando Santana FW 2014: Mist and Branches

Rolando Santana is growing as a designer, and, in this reporter's opinion, taking more risks. His latest collection for Fall/Winter 2014 was moody, mysterious - and, as always, elegant. What was really striking about it is that it made this reporter forget about what a rough winter New York has been having and almost look forward to fall.

The imagery and inspiration seemed to be nature - leafless trees, overcast days, empty beaches, starry nights. With an extreme color palette of just black, white, and grey; the focus was on the cuts and the details (beadwork, sequins, and suede). The opening look of a simple spaghetti strap dress with an A-line skirt was dashed with jagged branches and gave an inkling of what the viewing public was in for. What followed were a series of dramatic looks that would be suitable for anniversary dinners, weddings, cocktail parties, award ceremonies, holiday functions, and just your average date night. There was a black dress with bead accents that would be nice to wear to a lavish dinner, partially because you wouldn't have to worry about how much you ate. A light gray sheath dress would go from work to drinks with just a touch-up of eyeliner. A black, all-sequin outfit consisting of a top and slouchy pants was just shimmer-y enough for a New Year's party, or a housewarming. And a long suede black dress with a train drew gasps and applause from the crowd - you could only wear something like this to get married in, honestly.

This show was held at Eyebeam, as usual - the perfect cavernous space to show such a dramatic collection.