Oscar de la Renta opted out of the big to-do he usually puts on for Resort, showing his new collection to small groups of journalists today in his showroom instead. "Eighty percent of people at a show go because it's a happening, which makes your work more difficult," he said. "This is a more humane way to see clothes."

The intimacy of the proceedings was apropos of the offerings at hand. Close inspection was required to determine if the colorful flowers blossoming on a Prince of Wales-check skirtsuit were printed or embroidered. As it turned out, there was a bit of both. There's never a shortage of embellishment chez Oscar, of course, but the mood this season seemed particularly buoyant, with nods to mid-century couture. The models' lips were painted classic red, they wore net bows in their ponytails, and their pumps often matched their dresses.

A peplum bisected a slim sheath, and a navy appliquéd silk faille top, which he called a "French jacket," flared out in an A-line above a pair of tapering trousers. Silhouettes were exaggerated for evening, too, via bubble skirts (complete with a brooch accenting the waistline in back) and Watteau backs. The collection's most striking number was a column gown in indigo silk faille with jet beading down the front; the cut was slim, but the effect was still positively grand.