Oscar de la Renta made his feelings about pre-fall exuberantly clear on Monday: This is a season he intends to make the most of, even if he isn’t convinced the name itself makes a whole lot of sense. “I think the idea of calling this collection pre-fall is wrong,” the designer said after the show. “This collection gets delivered to the store in May — do you think a woman is going to buy a dress to keep until September? No. This is buy now, and wear now.”

Quibbling aside, de la Renta wants his woman celebrating — no matter the time of year. A distinctly fiesta-festive flavor ran through the collection, beginning with a stunning canary yellow silk organza blouse, tweed jacket and embroidered skirt all the way through to a series of floor-sweeping evening gowns in black ruffled lace and silver embroidery. The inspiration was Russia and its fairy tales — specifically, “The Tale of the Firebird,” which emerged in the vibrant hues popping from nearly every look. Here a gorgeous crimson silk coat dress with delicate pleating; there a turquoise patchwork dress topped with a paper-thin red cardigan (indeed, the filmy cardigans and easy jackets were excellent sportswear options, while a fabulous pale pink fox coat oozed indulgence).

“Just because times are difficult doesn’t mean you have to do austerity with the clothes,” de la Renta explained. To that end, embroidery wound its way onto a simple stretch white cotton shirt and tank as well as more elegant fare (taffeta, silk faille, even a tulle dress). The point, as de la Renta noted, was simple: “Make it fun, make a woman dream and make a woman want to buy.”

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