"You have to make a woman fall in love with your clothes." That was Oscar de la Renta
backstage before his pre-fall show, talking about how to woo the customer during the recession. Up economy or down, special pieces, not basics, are this designer's MO, and at his runway show today, he sent out a few beauties. On the more restrained side, there was a great pair of black denim toreador pants, worn with a pretty embroidered nude silk chiffon blouse, as well as a sexy plunging lace cocktail dress, also in black. But de la Renta wasn't really in understated mode. His color palette was a spicy mix of canary yellow, vermillion, pink, and ruby, and he favored ikats, suzani embroideries, and bold patchworks to simpler fare. Many of the looks were accessorized with scarves or little sweaters wrapped around the models' necks. The multicolor patchwork carried into evening; he showed a long narrow skirt with a ruffled silk chiffon blouse and a can't-miss-it necklace. Some clients might find that kind of full-on luxe too over-the-top, downturn or not. For them, de la Renta whipped up a black silk faille gown with plenty of drama on the left shoulder that looked special in a lower key.