Byline: Dianne M. Pogoda

NEW YORK--Oscar de la Renta said Wednesday he opted for a showroom presentation for the Pierre Balmain spring ready-to-wear collection in Paris to provide a more relaxed setting where "people can study the clothes, have a drink."
"I decided not to do a big show that requires a lot of extra pieces," said the designer. "We feel this more intimate setting is better for the Balmain collection than all the hoopla."
As noted, Balmain announced last week that it would not stage a runway show for the collection: rather it will hold an open day on Oct. 17 at its Rue Francois Premier headquarters to launch the spring collection.
While it had been reported that de la Renta might not be on hand for the presentation, de la Renta said Wednesday he will indeed host the day-long event, running from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is inviting the press and buyers to see the line up close.
"We will have about 40 or 50 mannequins modeling the collection," he said.
De la Renta said he's headed to Paris around Oct. 12 to put the finishing touches on the collection.
The designer also put to rest speculation that his future with the French couture house was in doubt. Asked if he intended to remain beyond the current limits of his three-year contract, which expires next summer, he replied, "Absolutely."
"I am very happy working with Balmain, and I love doing the couture," he said.

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