2007 December 3

Oscar de la Renta - Pre-Fall 2008

Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2008 Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2008
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(NEW YORK) Oscar de la Renta had guests at his Pre-Fall 2008 show daydreaming of sunnier, warmer locales like Jamaica, St. Barts, and the Dominican Republic, where the designer has a second home. His collection, at 63 looks, was a feast for fashion's seemingly insatiable appetite, mixing easy day separates like a black cotton wool jacket and fluted black leather skirt with exquisite silk faille dresses boasting enough colorful flora to rival the tulips that bloom up and down Park Avenue each spring. "I always love prints," said de la Renta, who just announced plans to open his seventh freestanding store in South Coast Plaza in Southern California next February. "And the idea is to keep a constant flow of merchandise. This is all for a May/June delivery, so it makes perfect sense."

Held Monday at 583 Park Avenue--the same venue that has played host to the designer's last few fashion shows, and to which company president Alex Bolen confirmed he has signed a multi-year agreement with--de la Renta offered colorful, and at times exquisite, variations on a theme, such as with an ikat skirt that he showed in black and emerald cotton, slate grey and jeweled, and dip-dyed in floral and sequins in lush blue, pink, red, and yellow hues.

Accessories, an ever-increasing market for de la Renta, figured prominently into his show, with sandals and clutches galore for evening and a smart Audrey tote for day. Statement-making jewelry was also more prominent than ever, with perfectly matched necklaces gracing the necks of several models (de la Renta's own collection of jewelry with Loulou de la Falaise will make its debut on the runway in February).

For day, it was all about swingy skirts, full and fluted, paired with a cinched waist. A laser-cut black tweed dress boasted symmetrical lines on top, a nice juxtaposition with the black and white alpaca tweed pieces and the adorable layered white stretch cotton shirt. A red double face camel hair suit was bright enough to make Donatella Versace proud.

Unlike seasons past, where pants have figured predominantly in the collection for evening, it was all about the classic dress for this go-around. And they came out in batches, including five gorgeous ones halfway through the show that were as a fresh as a Connecticut spring garden. His finale gowns, long to the floor, were slightly more subdued in black lace, but then he concluded with an eyebrow-raising gold tissue lamé cascading number that was offset--and thankfully so--by a stunning royal blue silk taffeta pleated gown.