Recession? What recession? The Federal Reserve may have just lowered interest rates again, but Oscar de la Renta is still laying on the gold leaf. With pop chanteuse Regina Spektor at the grand piano in his 583 Park Avenue show space, the designer sent out a Fall collection of impeccable clothes for gals young and old who are accustomed to the good life. For day, de la Renta stayed true to his tested silhouettes: a long and lean jacket in boiled cashmere over full-cut flannel pants, or a boxier jacket in a cashmere knit with a knee-length dirndl skirt in dip-dyed silk. Where he experimented a bit was with a trio of high-waist silk zibeline pants, the most striking of which was in amethyst with a black net overlay, worn with a Venetian red silk ruffle-front blouse. There was plenty of fur, too—sable at the hem of a herringbone-tweed coat, fox on the collar of a sheared broadtail. And, yes, that was gold embroidery on an otherwise unassuming (by de la Renta standards) shearling.

Come evening, the collection went two ways: understated, as with a trio of black columns in velvet, hammered satin, and silk crepe; or gala. Gustav Klimt's work was a reference point not only for a strapless floral chiffon embroidered dress accessorized with several strands of beads, but also for a pair of black gowns—one in a realistic (gold-) leaf motif and the other in a more abstract brushstroke style. Boom or bust, de la Renta knows what his ladies like.