(Photos by Scott Gries)
It was a no brainer, after Miuccia Prada unveiled her lace laden fall winter 2008 collection in Milan several months ago, that lace would quickly find its way back into fashion’s favor and have a rebirth, if you will. Not that lace was in danger of disappearing, mind you, but let’s face it, when arguably one of the most influential designers in the world breaths new life into what is normally a demure fabric, dusts off the cobwebs that are normally associated with it, and basically builds an entire collection around it, it’s obvious that lace would find itself the center of attention. And as it turns out, lace (in a variety of incarnations) figured prominently in two events I covered on Wednesday.
Oscar de la Renta staged his 66 piece resort 2008 show, at what has become his new favorite spot, 583 Park Avenue. Looking relaxed and tan, he could be seen meeting, greeting, and mingling beforehand with a crowd that included editors (seemingly all of Vogue was there and Anna Wintour looked uncharacteristically sporty in a crisp white shirt, printed skirt - by Oscar I presume - and high heeled sandals), retailers, and social fixtures (though I have to report that the second row in one section had to be filled in at the last moment since apparently, a handful of guests did not show up).
The upbeat collection was pretty, it was ‘ladylike’, it was colorful, and it was filled with all the dashing designer’s signatures and favorites...,in other words, it was ‘very Oscar’. Among the recurring themes were matched and mismatched suits (many in silk shantung, wool and silk, cotton and silk); a myriad of blouses (some had attached scarves, some were sleeveless, others boasted interesting sleeves); the use of islandly shades of Caribbean blue, coral, emerald green along with more neutral ochre, eggshell, black, and white; prints (there was a phoenix print, a tweed print, woodblock prints, ikats, florals, abstract brushstrokes); wide legged pants; caftans; jewel like embroidery on dresses and sweaters; hand crochet knits; one shouldered cocktail dresses (little black dresses and printed dresses); the use of highly textured 3-d organza ribbon and pleated organza.
And there was lace: guipure lace, Chantilly lace, colored lace, lace overlay, and embroidered lace. (Of course, don’t forget that images of Oscar de la Renta’s ivory lace wedding dress, worn by Jenna Bush for her nuptials last weekend, were seen the world over). Standouts in the collection include a short white guipure lace empire dress; a white silk taffeta blouse with black Chantilly lace trim worn with a knee length Caribbean guipure lace peplum skirt; a short black guipure lace dress with a silk woodblock print embroidered skirt; an entrance making full skirted black silk organza and tulle gown with guipure lace bodice.