Oct 05, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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In an elegant runway show in an Upper East Side location befitting his ladies-who-lunch aesthetic, Oscar de la Renta presented an international-themed collection that captured a youthful energy but had enough luxurious panache to please his uptown clientele. Utilitarian African safari suits were styled with straw Panama hats and basket woven strips, broderie anglaise trimming, and a halo of Heidi braids that referenced aspects of traditional Alpine dress. A configuration of gold and jewel-toned crochet mixed with sequins captured the visual language of India and served as the main print interest in the collection. Chantilly lace mantillas accessorized the ruffled and flounced evening gowns that are sure to turn up on red carpets come awards season. De la Renta exhibited a masterful control over texture, mixing waffle silk gazar, elaborate crochets, deconstructed tweeds, and printed chiffon with ease. Even heavily-embellished pieces became subtle under his experienced eye, with glass beads, sequins, and gems arranged in gradations to create an ombré effect. Set to a surprising soundtrack of samba music, the collection showed why the veteran designer continues to be a success story — he understands the need to evolve and look outside of one’s comfort zone for inspiration.
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