Oscar’s ‘Garden’ of Earthly Delights

“The flowers that bloom in the spring, tar la”….It did not take a rocket scientist to deduce that flowers, which literally bloomed all over spring 2008 runways, would later find their way into the following fall season. After all, in a season of prints and patterns, flowers of every variety and transformed into all colorations, were THE biggest story (in both ready to wear and accessories). They were certainly the big news at Balenciaga where Nicolas Guesquiere made florals look ‘of the moment’, ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ owing to their abbreviated, sculpted, and molded incarnations.

With that in mind, I was hardly surprised that Oscar de la Renta’s pre fall lineup, shown formally yesterday afternoon at 583 Park before a crowd that included members of the press, retailers, and social figures (including Glenda Bailey, Hal Rubenstein, Linda Fargo, Aerin Lauder) would be replete with blossoms. After all, the print and color loving designer known for his ultra feminine oeuvre, has already shown his signature ethnic inspired Ikat prints for several seasons already and florals are not only a change of pace for fall, but certainly in keeping with his aesthetic. And Oscar’s joyful buds, like those at Balenciaga, looked imminently modern thanks to the shape and structure given to the silhouettes. No soft and droopy flowers here.

There were florals for day, florals for evening, floral brocade jackets shown with full knee length skirts in contrasting fabrics, short floral dresses, floral dresses shown beneath embroidered floral jackets, and floor length floral trimmed gowns. Oscar opened his 63 piece show with a brightly hued (in exuberant shades of green, blue, yellow, and red) floral cloque brocade jacket shown over a soft knee length black tweed skirt, and closed with a finale which included dramatic gowns featuring floral silk faille panel prints. In between, there were floral silk zibeline and floral silk faille panel print cocktail dresses (one in particular that stood out was a knee length strapless dress trimmed with black patent embroidery), abstract tulip silk zibeline dresses (some covered with embroidery), and dresses with multicolor floral embroidery shown under embroidered jackets.

Other themes (which unsurprisingly were all very ‘Oscar’ in mood and tone) included hits of strong color (lacquer red, emerald green and fuchsia) sometimes mixed with black for both day and evening, smart suits (many in neutral toned tweeds), distinctive knitted jackets and sweaters (including a range of cashmere and silk cardigans that were richly embroidered), and of course, brand new takes on that popular LBD (many of which were done in silk faille, silk satin, or brocade and trimmed with black velvet or black satin bows). When skirts or dresses were knee length, the leg was encased in thick shiny black opaque hose and the high heeled shoe, boot, or sandal was also black (which further lengthened the leg).

-Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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