Oscar de la Renta
February 17, 2009 New York
The show opened with a black double-faced wool dress, accessorized with a black and white skunk scarf and mittens that suggested de la Renta might be willing to dial down the luxury—skunk being quite a bit less swanky than, say, fox. But not a chance. Hallmarks like texture, surface embellishment, and color are just as key this season as they've ever been. Witness a smashing lamé leopard dress, an embroidered gold jacquard coat, and an aubergine silk wool suit worn with a red charmeuse blouse. (Although an almost minimal-by-comparison black wool skirtsuit gets high marks, too.)
De la Renta is one of the few designers this week who has really gone there in terms of grand evening. His stunners came in the subtle variety—a black silk off-the-shoulder column cinched with a metallic belt, for instance—and the not so subtle, as in the pair of strapless crinoline gowns that closed the show. In the face of so much turmoil, there was something about all that netting that was fabulously defiant.