02/13/2013 08:33 EST | Updated 04/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Narciso Rodriguez goes to the street - via Brazil's Sao Paulo - for fall collection

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Was it you who inspired Narciso Rodriguez's fall collection?

Rodriguez saw two women — not dressed particularly fancy or fashion forward — who crossed each other on the street one day at just the right moment of a winter solstice. The colours and shapes he saw were inspiring; luckily, he said, he had one of his trusty cameras in hand and captured it.

"I came back to the office that day and showed my team the photo and said, 'That's a fashion show,'" Rodriguez said backstage at his own runway show at New York Fashion Week. He debuted his fall collection Tuesday night. (Rodriguez says he has several cameras, and one is always handy.)

On the catwalk, the women-on-the-street influence was seen mostly in the orange-tinged outfits, such as a tangerine-colored fleece jacket paired with cognac-colored crepe skinny pants and a high-neck tangerine sheath dress.

But, said Rodriguez, he also drew a lot of inspiration from the Brazilian artist Lygia Clark, having recently visited a Sao Paulo exhibit dedicated in her honour. That's where the graphic black and white — among his favouritecolours to work with — came in.

The overarching vibe of the clothes was clean and modern, but not restrictive. He opened with a black top that had a swath of white at the bottom and a skinny-leg black pant, and closed with a jet-black embroidered dress. He was going for graphic, he said, and, of course, he loves architectural shapes. His sleeveless navy wool sheath with seams down the bodice and black racing stripes down the side reminded the crowd he knows how to use them.

The many bias-cut silhouettes and unfinished fabric edges kept it from being severe.

He also gave his blessing to severe pointy-toe shoes, something accessories lovers shopping at any end of the price-point spectrum can embrace: They elongate the look of the leg.