Today was one of four days I look forward to each year—that is, the day one of Oscar de la Renta’s collections find their way down a white runway. I mentioned a few days ago that I wanted to share a bit of the interview that William Norwich did with Mr. de la Renta for New York Magazine. Some have said it is one of the longest he has ever done, but having spent 50 of his 80 years in the fashion industry certainly he must have a lot to share.
WN: The young designers in New York, like Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of Proenza Schouler, are devoted to you. What advice do you give them?
ODLR: To always remain true to themselves. I think there is a lot of new young talent around, and that’s great. My only concern is, well, I became well known because I made clothes that women bought. Today, unfortunately, you can become famous before you’ve even sold one dress. That’s not good.
WN: What are some of the favorite ¬pieces you’ve designed over the years?
ODLR: I don’t have any favorites. Not until Alex [Bolen, now CEO] joined the company in 2003 did we even have an archive. Alex was appalled. He started buying pieces at auction or from vintage dealers. When I see these things, I think some are horrible. I always thought that in fashion, the most important thing is to move on. I think there are two kinds of designers: the survivors, like me, and the designers who so strongly identify with one look and one period in their careers that they can never get beyond it. I also have the memory of a mosquito, so the most important piece is the next piece, and the next collection, because I cannot remember the last.
WN: Do you ever miss any of the ways capital-S society was conducted here? The mood? The manners?
ODLR: I really hate nostalgia. I don’t look at the world today and say, Oh, what a pity there are no Babe Paleys around. That’s not how to live your life. And the only manners I am interested in are the manners of the heart. Besides, I don’t have the best manners. I love to tease people too much.
You can read the entire interview on The Cut blog… Believe me it is worth it.
Now on to my favorite part! I don’t even know if I can express in writing just how excited I am about this collection. The show was definitively segmented starting with sexy separates that included leather wrapped tops, and skin-tight calf-length skirts and others that upped the sex appeal with saucy slits.
A little black dress moved us into the next segment, which included hooded capes, leather pants, and sheer tops—proving that even after 50 years in the industry de la Renta certainly knows how to remain relevant.
A lime green voluminous dress and extraordinary fur trimmed knee-length coat brought us into the world of a lady traveller. A-line skirts paired with embroidered jackets and cinched at the waist with a skinny belt made us feel right at home with the Oscar we all know and love.
The show ended in true ODLR style with pretty gowns in spectacular colors of purple, pink, turquoise, and fuchsia… and even a barely there black and nude gown.
By Kristianne Young
Runway photos: style.com