To kick off a new series where we give you an exclusive look inside designers’ studios, Vogue visited the Gramercy work space of Narciso Rodriguez, where the designer and his team were busy finalizing their resort collection, planning their second season of accessories, and sourcing fabrics for spring 2013. The studio is full of markers for milestones and memories; in the reception area, there’s the first piece of furniture Rodriguez ever bought: a cognac leather Le Corbusier chair. The walls are lined with photos of Vogue covers (Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jennifer Aniston are featured prominently) and personal portraits that Rodriguez collects, hung from floor to ceiling as in a Parisian salon. Walking back, the designer opens a giant black cabinet to reveal rows of monochromatic looks, with touches of pale pink and pops of safety-cone orange mixed in. “The archive is the heart of the company,” Rodriguez says, pulling out a runway version of the black silk dress embroidered with red and black chiffon that Michelle Obama wore the first time she joined her husband, the president-elect, onstage in Chicago in November 2008. In the design area (“This is the creative madness!”) boards with bags in 20 color stories are lined up against the wall with bolts of fabric and dress forms with paper jewels pinned at the neck. It’s glamour in the making, but there are also personal touches, from Rodriguez’s table where he keeps his current reading materials (copies of Artforum and Vogue), a photo of his three dogs, John, Cliff, and Lucky, and a shot of the designer with Kate Moss, backstage at Calvin Klein in the 1990s, when Rodriguez was collection designer. “I’ve always wanted to document every moment,” Rodriguez says. “I look at life for inspiration.”
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