Let the rest of New York go punk. While other designers flit from one influence to another, Oscar de la Renta has made a four-decade-long career of staying true to his brand of ladylike elegance. All of his signatures were there for fall: lavish handiwork, smart day suits, ballerina dresses. You could argue that he had a few too many of these last and that the show as a whole ran a little long, but why quibble when there was so much here to please the Oscar faithful.
For fall, de la Renta focused on his tailoring, sending out a parade of jackets in metallic brocades, embroidered cashmeres, and lean, cropped shearlings. These were paired with simple, full-leg trousers or knee-length skirts, alternately embellished with rosettes and trimmed in fur. Of the latter, there was certainly no shortage. Lippi-cat and chinchilla coats with puffed three-quarter-length sleeves and swingy full skirts were two of his runway's most covetable pieces. His socialite clients will have to move fast if they want first dibs.
De la Renta has a master's eye for colorthat chinchilla was olive, not standard-issue graybut his most brilliant after-dark confections came in body-loving black. Strapless satin with velvet trim, passementerie and lace with a plunging necklineeach one was lovelier than the last and just the ticket for a memorable night.