Leave it to a smoothie like Oscar de la Renta to engage in flagrant merch-mongering without seeming mundane.
Unlike last season, when his presentation tremored with caution, this outing radiated bravado, from the models’ Sixties bouffants to the handbags they swung with nearly every look, while still driving home his iron-clad belief that the runway must be fashion’s mini reality show.
Which is not to say it was slipup free, just that the big faux pas had nothing to do with the clothes: De la Renta went uncharacteristically cheese-ola when a model presented front-row luminary Roger Federer with a congratulatory bouquet. Forced audience participation never works.
Luckily the clothes did, delightfully so, in a lineup that, just like a good woman, was as shrewd as it was feminine. Shrewd because, though de la Renta juiced up the interest level substantially, he did so in a way that made sense, ditching the showroom smorgasbord for a few key themes rendered with clarity and verve. And feminine because who goes looking for butch chez Oscar?
There were endless terrific dresses, some all flou, some ultracrisp and worn with cool Lucite necklaces.
Suits? Of course, but of the unexpected mien, as in one embroidered navy wool with a casually cut jacket.
And there were separates as plain-speaking as a navy polo/white skirt combo, and, in a madcap runway-only moment, a little doily of a top worn over nothing more than undies.
Evening ranged from post-prep poppy prints to short, frothed-out Empire poufs, each with a certain charm.
But the true stunners were two utterly simple navy gowns — reality of the showstopping sort.
"I think that all anyone really wants in life is to have people understand us for who we actually are, despite everything," says Ruth Negga. The actress talks "Preachers" season 2 and more on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: Dan Doperalski)
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