DALLAS — It was a love fest for Oscar de la Renta on Thursday at Neiman Marcus’ flagship here.
As the main attraction of the annual fashion show and benefit for the Crystal Charity Ball, the designer was whisked from his Wednesday show at New York Fashion Week to Dallas on the private jet of Julie Turner, who chaired the luncheon, which raises money to support services for local children.
“He is fabulous,” Turner said. “Anyone can wear his collection. He is a ladies’ designer, and he loves the ladies and you can tell. We have raised $851,000 so far, and I think Oscar had a lot to do with that.”
For his part, de la Renta seemed gleeful to be among the faithful.
“I have a long relationship with Neiman Marcus, and the woman in Texas is a special kind of consumer,” said the designer, who was sitting in his new boutique on the flagship’s second floor before showing his resort collection.
“Yesterday we went to a cocktail party and I was counting my dresses,” he said. “There were probably 50 or 60 women there and 90 percent of them were wearing my dresses. I started counting, ‘This one costs $2,000’….People here in this city love to dress.”
The parade of de la Renta’s dresses and suits continued at the luncheon as all 11 of the women named “best dressed” by the charity chose to wear his styles as they were formally presented on the runway. An estimated one-half to two-thirds of the 558 guests also wore looks by the designer.
“Oscar has become a top vendor for us especially at the couture level,” said Karen Katz, president and chief executive officer of Neiman Marcus, who was standing nearby and wearing, of course, one of his dresses.
“Not many people do what he does,” Katz said. “He dresses so many different generations of women — young fashion customers and women like me who want to look young and then our mothers wear it. At Oscar’s spring show [Wednesday], a lot of the young editors were wearing Oscar. It was very interesting to watch.”
De la Renta’s overall sales are up 25 percent for fall and are projected to gain at least 20 percent for spring, said Alex Bolen, chief executive officer of the company.
“Knock on wood,” Bolen said. “I keep hearing about gloom, but we haven’t seen it.”
De la Renta attributed his success to focusing on the changing needs of his “most important consumer” — the professional woman.
“In the Seventies and Eighties women felt the only way to dress was in a manly manner, like a gray suit,” he said. “I think this is the most challenging and exciting time to be a designer because there has never been a woman so in control of her own destiny as today. The women today know the power of femininity and putting on lipstick.”
The company will open its first European store in about 10 days in Madrid, where the designer has lived and worked and has a loyal following, Bolen said. De la Renta plans to visit Madrid Oct. 15 to launch the store and receive a fashion award presented by Telva magazine.
The company will also unveil a unit at about the same time in a wealthy area of Athens, where de la Renta has teamed with local retailer Haris Tsimmoyanis, who owns Studio stores.
Construction of a Moscow store has been delayed but is expected to be finished in November, the designer said.
“The location is a landmark building — a two-story 18th century house, so it’s difficult to get permits,” he said. “The facade cannot be changed, but the interior will look like all our stores.”
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews