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Annette de la Renta, the wife of the late Oscar de la Renta, sat at the corner of a pale blue block on the front row of a carpeted venue last night to watch as models traipsed back and forth in Peter Copping’s most recent iteration of what the Oscar de la Renta brand posthumously looks like.
Next to Mrs. de la Renta sat close friend Anna Wintour. They were both bundled in fur coats and weather-appropriate boots. It was hard to watch the show without wondering what was going on inside the two heads seated on the corner of that block given the energy they couldn’t help emanate as significant pillars standing tall from the house-that-was.
For what it’s worth, though, they looked pleased as the knee-length dresses turned into gowns that featured details similar to last season’s show stopper: a pale blue floor length number replete with thick velvet bows. Those bows came back, this time bigger and to serve as closures behind chokers that cloaked long, bare necks. They were a nice compliment to a series of pinky rings, which felt a little unexpected in a delightful way. It would have been nice to feel more of that.
Attending an Oscar show can no doubt feel like a sort of treat — different from the rest of the shows on New York’s calendar, like a grown up version of the freedom that’s supposed to be, and Copping has done a nice job preserving the delicate house, but I wonder if that’s just it — preservation.
Meanwhile, at Narciso Rodriguez, the latest show on Tuesday’s agenda, there was a similar energy about the front row that made watching the show itself feel slightly less important. His choice in celebrities is always fascinating — last night’s was Claire Danes — that I found myself a bit distracted. Narciso Rodriguez is a skilled designer; no one makes a slip dress or straight pants like he does. We didn’t see much of that last night, though. The collection, still colored in shades of white and brown with some brighter bursts here and there seemed more inspired by a Japanese aesthetic than I’m used to seeing from Rodriguez.
Designing can’t be that different from writing, and sometimes the ideas simply get lost on their audience. Of course there are the lone wolfs who get it, but last night I did not fall from that camp. So I wonder with designers who are so talented and smart: how long is too long to rely on refreshing old school hits?