A preview of Oscar de la Renta’s resort collection turned nostalgic recap when his friend and former model-turned-jewelry designer Kirat Bhinder Young joined the conversation. They dished charming anecdotes, mostly from the late Seventies-early Eighties, ranging from a trip to Dubai with belly-dancing sheiks to de la Renta’s work with Verushka and Young’s with Yves Saint Laurent.

As for the collection at hand, de la Renta preferred to let the clothes speak for themselves. A beautiful lineup of broad appeal — within de la Renta’s specific, highly polished vocabulary — came grouped in six vignettes spanning day, evening and cocktail grandeur. Inventive black-and-white flocked tweeds progressed to metallic moire and large-scale floral embroideries done in silver thread. Classic ladylike silhouettes, such as neat suiting, were mixed with shorter hemlines, cropped tops and rompers for a youthful verve.

Much of the collection had a graphic focus of navy, ivory and black softened with ultrafeminine treatments including lace, beadwork and appliqués. But as de la Renta noted, “We have color, too,” which was delivered in silk faille cocktail gowns in saturated magenta and aquamarine. Subtler evening options came in gossamer tulle and lace in beige and brown. The ballgown business is booming for de la Renta, particularly in the Middle East, where his Dubai boutique recently sold 18 gowns in a week.  

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