Luxe, calm and voluptuous – quintessential de la Renta style for New York Fashion Week Day Five
The idea of pretty clothes for summer seems like a cliché – until you see it exceptionally well done: azalea-pink checks – gingham style – on streamlined dresses; lace puffing out as a short skirt. Skirts curving up at the front to let you take a strong stride.
And all the early outfits were shown with flat sandals, as though Oscar were beckoning forward a new generation.
But his favourite clients would not have jumped to their feet in an ecstasy of applause if the designer had not thought of them. So a sophisticated and streamlined dress would be decorated with flat, silver tulips. There were even fur coats, light as air, printed with flower patterns.
What Oscar has is a lifetime of understanding about technique: how to tame one fabric while giving another some bounce. And he is adept at understanding colour in gradations of shades from sky blue to grass green.
Perhaps his greatest skill is to create femininity without making it silly or frilly.
The main message was the flowers, embroidered on light layers of organza or on thicker mesh; but an all-white, full-skirted lace dress was equally pretty. Sometimes the lace seemed to float down from a more solid top half, adding a misty cloud around the legs.
There are so few designers left across the world who were trained in haute couture. In America, they are an endangered species. Long may Oscar reign over a fashion world of luxe, calm and voluptuous shapes to frame women with elegance and respect.