Oscar de la Renta changed things up for resort. Rather than show in his Seventh Avenue showroom, the accustomed venue for his cruise line, he chose the dazzling Renzo Piano-redesigned Morgan Library as a backdrop. And among the reliable assemblage of editors, buyers, and Park Avenue types, there was a new face: Olivier Theyskens, in town to receive the Council of Fashion Designers of America's International Award. But if some things were different, the clothes were pure Oscar, from the first trapeze-back ivory bouclé shift to the last bubble-skirted ball gown in a Marie Antoinette by way of Nancy Lancaster floral print. In between, he showed mod polka dots, raffia crochet, eyelet, and a white lace-and-point-d'esprit djellaba that was memorable not only for its beauty but also because it was one of the few piecesaside from the show's numerous straw hats and sunglassesthat explicitly evoked thoughts of lounging poolside at Punta Cana, or some other posh Caribbean retreat.
These clothes, after all, are in stores longer than those of any other seasonin some cases from November until Mayand that means they have to cover every manner of occasion. For day, Oscar's ladies can choose between a ruffle-neck taffeta top with wide-leg twill pants (lunch at The Modern), a silk shirtdress in the designer's favorite ikat print (after-work power drinks), or a smart navy-and-white houndstooth cotton suit (Board of Directors meeting). Come evening, it's flirty cocktail numbers in silk faille, gala-worthy columns with matching rib-skimming boleros, andrather fittingly, given the show's locationstrapless gowns to do a robber baroness proud.