The Scene: Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2014 collection at his 42nd Street showroom
The Inspiration: In any season you’d be hard-pressed to pin down fashion’s consummate gentleman on an inspiration that extends beyond creating pieces that make women look and feel as beautiful as possible. Why talk of traveling to exotic lands or a painting when you can talk of beautiful women? It sounds like a simple idea but isn’t; there’s an abyss of danger between concept and reality. But de la Renta has never wavered from this pursuit, which is likely why he’s enjoyed a career that spans more than half a century.
The Look: De la Renta’s Fall collection is defined by texture, a variety of highly tactile pieces, from a pullover and scarf in brushed mohair and a hand-knit sweater in alpaca to a laser-cut black leather moto jacket and skirt studded in gold. Lush touches were treated with restraint: the gold lacquered feather embroidery that encircled the waist of a chocolate silk-faille ballgown, or the black floral appliqués on an ivory Chantilly lace blouse. Even the finale gown, a flurry of painted polka dots on ruffled tiers of black tulle, didn’t feel over the top; it was quite simply a divine entrance-maker.
The Accessories: Oscar’s costume jewelry glimmered in all the right places: gold and crystal pavé earrings, or a gold and turquoise brooch used to adorn the center back of the bodice on an icy blue satin draped gown.
The Beauty: When Karlie Kloss opened the show in a choppy wig—Karlie as a brunette!—designed by Orlando Pita, it was another sign of this show’s tactile leanings. Plus all those kicky little shags kept hair off the shoulders, thus allowing you to concentrate more on design details.
The Casting: The aforementioned Kloss opened and closed the show as anticipated, and was joined by Jourdan Dunn, Jac Jagaciak and other A-list girls.
The Takeaway: In Style’s Hal Rubenstein remarked last week at de la Renta’s party for his new book that you see a lot of great young designers who are technically quite excellent, but you never really know who they are; they don’t exhibit a consistent point of view. “When you look at anything Oscar has done, you immediately get a sense of who he is,” Rubenstein said. “I admire him ridiculously, because he makes life better.” De la Renta’s latest collection undoubtedly will accomplish exactly that.