Rich. How else to describe the jacquard coat with the bouclé trim and Indian embellishments that opened Oscar de la Renta's show? Or the purple lamb and fox vest worn over a hand-knit cashmere cardigan and laser-cut leather embroidered suede skirt? This is one designer who was never tempted by the recent minimalism trend, but if he'd curbed his taste for glorious excess in the face of the recession over the last couple of years, his Fall collection signaled an end to that. Some saw in the opulence of the embroideries and the exoticism of such accessories as a paisley silk scarf tucked under a fox fur circlet a play for the emerging (make that emerged) BRIC markets. There's undoubtedly an audience for these kinds of clothes in those countries, but then again de la Renta has always loved mixing a far-flung reference in among his bouclé skirtsuits, sleeveless day dresses, and lavish statement coats. And his Park Avenue crowd has been happy to take him up on it.

His eveningwear was hardly less extravagant. Take, for instance, a strapless column with multicolor sequined embroideries; it was a mosaic of florals and paisleys and positively stunning. Most of the gowns tended toward the straight and narrow, which just added to the standout effect of the silver lamé number with the beige and gray tulle ball skirt, the one that was topped by the ivory shearling with the black crewel threadwork. The ascetics in the room didn't leave happy, but de le Renta isn't aiming to please them. Plenty of others found his exuberance spellbinding.