Did Oscar de la Renta have the April wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in mind when he was putting the finishing touches on pre-fall? The trio of finale dresses in pastel shades of silk faille (one with a matching cardigan and two with toreador jackets) were so grand in their proportions, so elaborate in their bullion and threadwork embroideries, so spectacular they might not look out of place at a royal occasion (aside from the fact that the wearer would be in danger of upstaging the bride). We can picture Oscar's girls scrambling for an invitation to Westminster Abbey as we type. Then again, a pair of black leather leggings worn with a white peasant blouse and a chinchilla-trim broadtail vest also made a turn on the runway.

After more than 40 years in business, de la Renta has earned the privilege to send multiple messages down the catwalk, and he definitely has a diverse fan base, but, for the most part, the 59 looks he showed today played best to the polished uptown types who love him best. Among the de rigueur tweedy skirtsuits, the palazzo pants, and the little black dresses we all expect from the designer was a super-fitted, long-sleeved dress in what looked like a blown-up tweed. Where he really went to town was with color, opening with a vibrant green cardigan worn back-to-front with a matching knee-length skirt, followed by a shocking pink skirtsuit and chiffon blouse. Later on, a red and black strapless column was accessorized with a fuchsia scarf wrapped around the model's updo. Middleton is obliged to wear a British designer, but for her mum, perhaps, may we suggest Oscar's beige silk double georgette embroidered gown?