Oscar de la Renta Fall 2017

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Oscar de la Renta

Fall 2017

Things did not start well at Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia’s Oscar de la Renta debut tonight. A curtain failed to open, which prevented half the audience from seeing anything more than intermittent glimpses of the models as they walked by.

Garcia and Kim worked with Mr. de la Renta for many years before his death in 2014. They left the brand when Peter Copping was brought in as creative director and subsequently launched and have had some success with their own label, Monse, in the interim. After Copping’s abrupt exit last July, they were brought back into the company fold and sat front row at the studio-designed Spring show in September. This evening, in what qualifies as a first for the industry, they sequentially presented Fall collections for Monse and Oscar de la Renta in the same venue. They’ve been charged with bringing some youthful verve to the Oscar brand—with freshening it up. Despite their training and the many months of prep time, this was a disappointing first attempt.

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True, it captured the dressed-up sensibility that was the house founder’s calling card, and, yes, it had a more freewheeling sense of pace than the stately Oscar processions of old—those were points in its favor. But it lacked in finesse and a certain degree of taste. The strappy sandals were painfully difficult to walk in. Colors were often garish. And some of the pieces, well, it was a real puzzle what they were doing on an Oscar runway—a multicolored diagonally striped sweater and matching leggings come to mind. Where Oscar’s parade of evening dresses used to surprise and delight in its variety, this failed to do so.

Kim and Garcia have the goodwill of many, so the thing to do now is put this behind them, and book a sunnier space for what will no doubt be a stronger sophomore collection.

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New York, February 14th. Article by Nicole Phelps

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