Monday, December 7, 2009

Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2010

Minutes before the showing of his Pre-fall 2010 Collection in New York Dec. 7, Oscar de la Renta walked alongside the runway, greeting editors, department store buyers and patrons.

The lights dimmed and then rose, illuminating a white catwalk jutting from a stage framed with Roman columns. The first model sported a coat, sweater and skirt in monotone grey, accented with a canary ostrich Cordia tote bag. She was quickly followed by more models garbed in canary separates, including one who wore a nude silk organza blouse with a full skirt in marigold silk faille embroidered with black and red.

Lithe models, with smoky eyes and backcombed, bouffant hairdos, sauntered along the catwalk, showing off A-line or tight-waist/full-skirt dresses. Many of the garments featured details such as embroidery, applique, patchwork, beading, quilting, or trimming. But at closer look, Mr. de la Renta's construction does not add bulk (or inches) at the waist- or hip-line.

Model Anna Rijk, who wore an emerald merino wool knit dress topped by a grey heather cashgora embroidered coat, said the outfit was both comfortable and wearable. Possibly one of the reasons Mr. de la Renta is the designer of choice for women of all ages is because his clothes are feminine, flattering and functional. Sales staff in the Oscar de la Renta department at Saks Fifth Avenue, some of whom attended the show, agreed.

Mr. de la Renta topped some of his strapless or sleeveless day and evening dresses with shrunken cardigans, three-quarter sleeve knit bolero sweaters, or shawl-like wraps. Some he embellished with embroidery, sequins or other trimmings. A sculpted fabric flower was pinned to the bodice of a dark rose, short, fitted cardigan, which de la Renta featured belted over a black rose-print silk faille dress.

The collection also included slim-legged pants, some with high waists and others slung at the hips. Skirts were both full and fitted, most skimming the knees. Mr. de la Renta showed a chevron-patterned pink shadow fox coat, cut to mid-thigh, belted at the waist.

Borrowing from past collections, Mr. de la Renta made up some garments in a bold, ethnic patchwork print of browns and pinks. He even paired a long, vermillion, multi-color embroidered patchwork skirt with a ruby silk chiffon blouse, as part of the evening wear segment, toward the end of the show.

The last model on the catwalk wore a rose degrade tulle embroidered, flamenco-inspired gown, the hem of its full skirt rose above the ankles in front and then dipped towards the floor in the back. She covered her bare shoulders with a brown shawl-like wrap, embroidered with roses.

Mr. de la Renta founded his company in the 1960s and has grown it to include accessories, shoes and fragrance. His adopted son Moises de la Renta is following in his father’s footsteps, having worked for the designer and also launched his own line, MDLR. The elder de la Renta has dressed both young and older women from Penelope Cruz to Jackie Kennedy to Laura Bush. Kristen Stewart wore one of his gowns to a recent opening of the Twilight vampire movie, “New Moon.” In May 2008, Jenna Bush got married in a de la Renta gown. After the New York show, when I mentioned that Moises possibly could head the company some day, Mr. de la Renta smiled and nodded his head in a thoughtful manner, but remained noncommittal. I for one am looking forward to seeing more from both the father and the son.