For most mortals, the concept of everyday couture is an oxymoron. But for Oscar de la Renta's devoted Balmain clientele—which includes the likes of Princess Firyal of Jordan, Ira von Furstenberg, Georgina Brandolini and Deeda Blair—it makes perfect sense. With his gentleman's sensibility, the Dominican designer understands better than anyone their need for clothes that are subtle yet dramatic.

Centered around Spanish and Russian motifs, de la Renta's collection was concise and impeccably executed. Racy boleros, flamenco hats and profusely beaded skirts stole the show; even a draped tuxedo jacket and satin shirt looked like they could have been worn by an off-duty matador. De la Renta also supplied richly embroidered coats, massive fur hats and generous muffs reminiscent of Catherine the Great, as well as an outstanding gold damask long-skirted suit, decadently trimmed with sable. Not quite the thing for lunch at Swifty's? Don't panic: De la Renta's double-faced wool coats, muslin blouses and precisely cut tweed tailleurs with ruched side-fastenings should do the trick.