Peter Copping looked to an epic period of Oscar de la Renta‘s history as a designer for inspiration in the label’s Fall 2016 RTW collection. Le Grand Divertissement à Versailles, better known as the Battle of Versailles, was put together to raise funds for the restoration of the Palace of Versailles.
The American designers challenged the standards of French-conceived fashion and beauty, presenting African American models on the runway in sportswear. “It was about modernity and the minimalism of American sportswear versus French tradition,” said Peter Copping.With Princess Grace and Andy Warhol were in attendance to witness a turning point in the global fashion industry. The event established de la Renta, the American design houses, and American sportswear fashionas powerful forces, reshaping preexisting rules and notions of French-dominated haute couture.Taking this literal translation, Copping’s creations combined historically French couture fabrics and techniques, and combined them with modern, more tech-sport athleisure fabrics that have been gliding across the runways in the past couple of seasons.
It was an interesting mashing of silk, taffeta, lace, and damask with leather, stretch wool, and knitwear. The show started out with minimalist knit separates in feminine, sophisticated silhouettes in grey and burgundy. Damask showed in the form of dress jackets and skirt suits with fur collars and vertical boning at the waistlines. Ultra thin textured sweaters were layered underneath the shift dresses and skirt suits.
The same boning technique is seen on a burgundy leather knee-length A-line skirt as well as the waistline of a cherry red leather dress. Necklines on some of the later dresses are gorgeous in the form of low cut square and scoop neck bustiers.
Of course, an Oscar de la Renta show wouldn’t be complete without several beautiful cocktail dresses and evening gowns, some in a breath-taking black and gold pattern. A wine colored silk bustier with rounded petal folds is paired with an airy toile de Jouy midi that sits high at the waist. A triple layered dress creates a deconstructed ombre effect with a blue-grey velvet bustline, a horizontally wrapped bodice and drop waist in powder blue taffeta, and a flowing cerulean silk skirt.