On
from
pinterest
A Close-Up Look at Oscar de la Renta’s New Vibe

The first collection from design-duo Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia

02.14.17

It is exceptionally hard to get an industry veteran to say that something’s new. Everything’s cyclical, everything’s referential, everything is Balenciaga or Céline. That the two (new) Creative Directors of Oscar de la Renta — a reliable, iconic American design house with tradition sewn in — managed to get New York’s fashion set whispering “This is new” already feels like something.

A big chunk of newness was in the show’s execution. Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia head up both Oscar de la Renta and their own label, Monse. Because it is rare for a creative director, or co-creative directors, to design for two different brands based in the same city, Kim and Garcia held one show after the other on Monday evening. Monse went first; Oscar followed. The cast of models differed and the set was altered, but the seats did not change. There was no intermission. The message that came from PR is that the duo have two distinct points of view — one for Oscar, one for Monse — and both can live in unison. The message that came from the designers of was simple: we can do this.

Monse looked like Monse. Going forward, this will be the outlet where Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia can take risks, get weird, make mistakes and play.

Oscar de la Renta, meanwhile, will be a legacy cherished.

oscar de la renta fall winter 17 nyfw man repeller

I previewed the new ODLR collection on Sunday, one day before it would show to the public. The Oscar de la Renta atelier — the same one Mr. de la Renta used to design from — was alive with the hand stitching of a million finishing touches, the closing of serendipitous loops. Kim started as an intern and worked for 10 years at Oscar prior to this juncture in her life; before Monse, Garcia was at Oscar for six. They worked with Mr. de la Renta closely. They understand the customer, the aesthetic, the enormous pressure of this brand. It is hard to extract the fact that so much of the magic came from Oscar himself. But that doesn’t mean this new take cannot be wonderful.

The necessary Oscar ballgowns and prim suits were present. Intricate, expert beading and all the drama of a sash reminded viewers (who needed no reminding) what show they were seeing. If you buy Oscar or bought Oscar then remarked that it got too far away from the house’s original intention, breathe a sigh of relief: this house is still your home. But there were also the injections of two young people who have so much energy that they can balance the stress of all of this (twice times however many collections they’ll produce per year) and deliver. Easier to admire in person than on the runway were the skintight, striped, under-ski wear as head-to-ankle clothes and the sponge wool coats. Color clashing isn’t revolutionary, but it looked cool in this context. A pink suit with a sequined corset is exactly the kind of thing that will be fought over by stylists for celebrity clients and magazines.

oscar de la renta fw17 nyfw man repeller side

I was told that some of the dresses — the ones with the gathered fabric at the hips — were meant to mimic the folded draping that occurs when women hike up their skirts [to actually move/to show off their shoes/to dance]. And that image, one of an elegant woman letting loose in a formal venue, has stuck with me. Here we have a beautiful gown, nothing new about that. But this one allows the new and old Oscar de la Renta fans alike to celebrate, hands-free.

Photos by Krista Anna Lewis; Runway Photos via Vogue Runway.

NYFW-SS17

Get more Fashion ?
  • AryaChic

    Absolutely adore Oscar De La Renta!!

    http://www.aryachic.com/59th-annual-grammys-report-card

  • Ooh I think I really like it! Very sassy x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • Sierra Mayhew

    Loved both shows!! Quick question: Do you pronounce Monse like Mon-say or just Monse?

    • Amelia Diamond

      mon-say!

  • Beautifully written, as usual. I love the preview photos!!!! It is nice to see the tiny details in progrsss. I love that full body stripe outfit.

  • Amelia, I haven’t looked at your photo gallery yet for this post. Before I do, I want to rest on the picture you already created with your great writing. Worthy of de la Renta.
    https://plumage59.com

    • Aydan

      agreed. well done!

    • Amelia Diamond

      that is such a kind and beautiful comment, thank you! (krista took some v pretty pictures though. I’m biased but 10/10 recommend!)

  • Oscar has long been one of my favorite designers, and when I first looked at the pictures I didn’t know what to feel. There were still the incredible, beautiful details, but where was what I knew!!! Then, I read what you had to say, and you fully got me. I’m a supporter until I die.

    http://www.outfitsandobservations.blogspot.com

  • Love, excited for the first ever new chapter for De La Renta, a house that’s always been able to carry its history with it while looking – and moving – forward.

    In other news, on slide 15: SEQUINNED CUMMERBUNDS ARE SUCH A GREAT IDEA??