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.

Oscar de la Renta: Town and Gown

Renata Espinosa
September 17th, 2010 @ 12:48 AM - New York

Oscar de la Renta is the closest thing America has to a couturier, so in keeping with his mission to dress the Uptown crowd from daytime social functions to a soiree-filled nights, he does two things perfectly: sunny suits and show-stopping gowns.

For his spring 2011 collection, which he showed, of course, on Park Avenue in New York on Thursday, Sept. 16, before a crowd that included Sarah Jessica Parker, de la Renta made his somewhat outdated, though obviously still profitable, mission all the more retro by showing a series of fifties inspired coats, cardigans, day suits and ball gowns befitting a society lady or debutante circa the Eisenhower years.

A floral theme dominated the looks, whether on a narrow natural linen suit embroidered with organza peonies, an azalea printed sheath dress or in his final look, a gargantuan pink bolero that resembled a puffy carnation worn atop a garden green gown.

Elsewhere, a plaid print with a dripping ink line that had a hand-painted feel was used on a shibori silk cropped jacket paired with a voluminous tulip skirt, or on a double face wool coat.

There were a few concessions to the stiff fifties sheath silhouette in the daywear, like ruffle top silk jumpsuits and a lovely pleated silk organza dress with a peony print.

Then, as “The Great Pretender” played, Oscar de la Renta sent out gowns for worthy of any flashbulb popping occasion, be it next season’s biggest charity ball to Hollywood awards season, though gowns for each respective event might look radically different. For instance, for the charity set, one envisioned them wearing the ball gowns with embroidered flowers, covered in polka dots, or accessorized with an over-the-top tulle bolero.

But for the red carpet, where the fashion police would rip those tulle boleros or a swan’s down skirt to shreds faster than you can say “photo uploaded,” there were more classic “old Hollywood” gowns.

Celebrity stylists, take note: a blush silk crepe de chine gown with a plunging wrap neckline would win any actress “best dressed” accolades.

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