NEW YORK, United States — Pre-Fall marks Peter Copping’s fourth collection at the helm of Oscar de la Renta, and, in many ways, this effort was meant to round out his vision for the brand. Over the past year, he has taken a gingerly — if not passive — approach to evolving the brand. In return, his audience has been both kind and grateful that the legacy of the much-loved American house remains intact.
But now, it’s show time. How will Copping continue to please the ODLR faithful while wooing a new generation of customers? “I think one of the many things is to address what Oscar de la Renta is for daywear,” he said at a preview. “It’s so well-established for cocktail and eveningwear. What about real clothes?”
The designer has spent a good chunk of time this year on the trunk show circuit, visiting big markets like Dallas and Houston. It got him thinking about Americana: Hollywood glamour, quilting and 1960s sportswear. A belted topper, rendered in lightweight tweed woven with a rubberised thread and done up with marrowed edges, offered the right finishing for any high-day look. There was a lot of layering, patchworking and mixing prints: a tweed blazer was matched with a floral blouse and a skirt in springy jacquard embellished down its front. It was the accoutrements that made things right: a ruffle of organza on the wrists of a ribbed top, a ribbon tying up the back of a pointelle-knit sweater.
Copping’s personal design signatures include silhouettes cut close to the rib cage and a penchant for revealing more than a flash of skin at unexpected moments. In the collection’s eveningwear, those ideas shone through on a long-waisted cocktail number with a deeply cut-out back and bubble skirt made of gazar. The decorative embellishments so germane to the brand were there, too, perhaps most fetchingly on a mixed-media strapless gown with a heavily sequinned bodice and jacquard skirt. The most intriguing offering, however, might have been the taffeta skirt suit, pleated and draped at the front. It didn’t need sparkle to charm.