“Happier than ever.” It’s how to best describe Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim’s spring collection and upbeat film for Oscar de la Renta, featuring a high-fashion montage of models Soo Joo Park, Irina Shayk, Candace Swaenpoel, Akon Changkou and Lulu Tenney running around New York City as Billie Eilish’s “Oxytocin” record bumps in the background.
“We have somebody who’s giving us their music that we’re taking [to the Met Gala]; it’s going to be very cool because it’s giving the energy we want for the video,” Garcia said during a visit to the brand’s 42nd Street showroom on Friday. The film’s clever reveal hinted that Eilish, one of this year’s Met Gala co-chairs, would be attending the Monday night event with the brand.
“The concept is five top models running from their respective nooks in the city toward Bryant Park, where Bryant Park is going to be desolate and empty. By the time they arrive here, the whole video will have shown all the looks — you know how in ‘Devil Wears Prada,’ she’s walking one street and then crosses the street in another look. They are going to end up here, that’s when the video culminates. We’re going to have some fun little cameos in the video that we’re excited about that will inject a little bit of humor. It’s fast-paced, celebrating New York City, very sexy.”
The film, directed by Garcia, captures quintessential New York moments while showcasing the collection in a way that’s glamorous, fantastical and entertaining. Grabbing a pizza slice in a watermelon pink exaggerated peplum blouse and matching shorts; hailing a cab in a painterly magnolia printed button down; Citi biking in an adorable raincoat and summer hat; running through the subway platform in a quintessentially Oscar, bouncy papaya orange taffeta chintz mini, and strolling the city streets (while running into Garcia, Kim and Kathy, Paris and Nicky Hilton) in joyous fashions that interchanged between day, cocktail and evening.
The collection was light and lively, with painterly motifs and intricate patterns pulled from the designers’ weekends spent going to farmers markets and working at Kim’s kitchen table together. A silk button-up boasted the authentic tablescape (complete with their new Alibi fragrance); a silky evening number made up of intricate, sequined vines of strawberries; hand-crochet knits and printed daywear featured the edible magnolia leaf (which Kim recalled eating as a child). The collection’s amped up femininity and drama (daytime tweeds and playful layers with girly flare; a purposeful lack of suits or more “serious” styles) was the result of customers’ buying habits during the pandemic, while the designers’ prominent use of raffia for the embroidered and bombastic red-carpet evening gown finale stemmed from the desire to incorporate an animal-friendly alternative to feathers for spring.
“It’s happy, right?” Garcia mentioned. Happy, fun, fresh indeed.