Front and center at life's rich pageant—that's where Oscar de la Renta wants to be. Leaving the monochrome color schemes and workaday fabrics to others, this is a designer who deals in luxury, elegance and—always—vibrant femininity.
As with his fall collection, de la Renta worked Oriental influences into both his palette and detailing. His colors were so saturated they evoked a spice market: crimson red, saffron yellow, chocolate brown, mint green, pink and lavender. He placed an increased emphasis on accessories this season, adding everything from a pretty beaded bag to a chunky necklace to a toile print handbag in his signature football shape. The clothes were classic de la Renta silhouettes: neatly tailored trousers and shirts, smart silk shirtdresses and pretty, swingy skirts worn with linen tops. A sculpted, perfectly balanced boxy jacket made from cream-colored ottoman paid homage to Cristobal Balenciaga, while the gold matelassé pieces—particularly the "jean" jacket—would make a modern rajah very happy.
Of course, it wouldn't be a de la Renta show without a ruffle or two hundred. Tightly gathered, limp and loose, stacked or single, they bore witness to this designer’s mastery of the medium. That's why the soundtrack—Nelly urging his listeners to take off all their clothes—was such a puzzle. If you're wearing de la Renta, why would you want to?