After attempting to take the brand into a totally different, more modernist direction that felt tone deaf for Oscar de la Renta fans, artistic directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia followed up with a compromised approach, blending the two, to much greater success. And now, they felt it was time to really embrace Oscar’s spirit of celebrating the beautiful female form rather than re-vectoring the brand. The duo stuck to the late designer’s house signatures of classic, sophisticated silhouettes while building in fresh elements like sheer lace bodices, cutout sleeves, single layer tulle capes, major oversize sweater action, and cutout sheer shapes on evening looks. The collection was inspired by a trip to the Cloisters the pair had taken with de la Renta in 2013.
There were some heavy florals throughout the collection in a tapestry effect with some looks more successful than others. The vines that swept through monochromatic looks in saturated orange and pink, black and white dresses and coats popped loud before heading into a more relaxed quartet that started with a distressed linen coat over a shirt with long trumpet sleeves embroidered in gold leaves. The gold embroidery followed on a ribbed cowl sweater over olive skirt in silver and gold leaf outlines, next an olive utility jacket in silver stitching. The series finalized with a cropped sweater over long shirt with wide-leg olive trousers. The floral motif was noticeable but not overdone here.
But then we get into this odd lineup of hot and cold. Tapestry style florals read a bit madame, but there were fresh elements like shoulder and elbow cutouts (with ok, those incredibly long bows that felt out of place), wide-leg trousers that felt just a bit grungy, off-the-shoulder, cozy sweaters, and pops of sheer to show off some skin.
The strong points were best found in the evening looks, with black velvet in silver beading, or cut out into circles and lined with mini pearls, takes on the naked dress, a crystal emblazoned sheer tier dress and skirt, cutout cloud looks (that remind me so much of the crafty paper pom balls) and my personal favorites – the distressed silk ball skirt with black lace bodice and similar lace bodice looks. Gorgeous.
One thing is for sure – this odd love triangle between Kim, Garcia, and the late de la Renta is certainly leading to some beautiful craft work when it comes to the gowns. And that was ODLR‘s passion in the first place.