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Into the Woods at Oscar De La Renta

After a few false starts, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are settling into their roles. But there is still work to be done.
By
  • Lauren Sherman

NEW YORK, United States — After a few false starts, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are settling into their roles at Oscar de la Renta. This season — which started with memories of a trip the co-creative directors took with the late designer before his passing to The Cloisters uptown — was more relaxed than past efforts. But there is still work to be done.

The designers emphasised eveningwear, their bread and butter, and attempted to make it as special as possible. fabric was the thing. There were 43 different colours woven into a jacquard illustrated with woodland animals; that same motif emerged once again on a chine that felt lighter and looked more refined than taffeta. (Garcia said it even sounds different rustling down the runway.) Full ball skirts were paired with chunky, broken-cuff knits: a look that felt true to Kim's own wardrobe. They also brought evening embroidery concepts to daywear, quilting an olive bomber with metallic thread and overlaying a floral-embroidered sweater with organza.

Of course, there’s still work to be done: they could have reduced the number of looks for greater impact. (The scalloped organza series and the pearl-quilted velvet would have been better left on the showroom floor.) There is also the matter of pomp: the designers continue to rely too much on the feeling of the season rather than their own ideas. If they give more of themselves, the clothes will spark emotion.

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