Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia have been taking baby steps in updating the brand since taking the helm at Oscar de la Renta. Slowly disrobing the formality long held revered by de la Renta buyers, Kim and Garcia have been moving the house toward softer, easier to wear clothes that the younger buyer is looking for….while still trying to maintain some of the original vision of the founder.
Once again, they look to the east for inspiration, taking their Pre-Fall 2019 collection to Morocco and India. They went for eclectic fabrics, interestingly focused on Indian menswear with skirt-pant combos with relaxed blazers.
There is an undeniable richness to the collection that speaks to the Indian culture – languid silks, jacquards, embroideries…even intarsia furs. Is everyone going the way of Fendi? Yet these were mixed with laid back, breezy moments in soft silhouettes clearly meant for a Moroccan voyage. And that cerulean handkerchief crochet dress. Oh yesss.
The evening looks were kind of incredible. A black low-back gown had criss-cross wide straps with gilded floral embroideries that cascaded almost all the way down to the hem. Sheer high-neck tulle numbers had more overt Hindi influences with intricate floral gold embroideries and sequins. Shimmering gold mermaid scales cover a strapless column, and I’m pretty sure that and her black tulle scoop neck partner are rife for the instagirls. And me. Give me the mermaid, please. Throw in a few slinky, sultry numbers, a naked dress, and some feather action, and you only hear a faint whisper of the founder. But, I have to admit it’s a great collection and the house must live on.