My love affair with Oscar de la Renta is a well-documented fact, one that even my husband approves of wholeheartedly. And the romance continues with his Pre-Fall 2012 collection. The show’s Park Avenue location might have been a telling hint: we have gone back uptown. Unlike Spring, which revolved around the electrified ball gown, this season focuses on a variety of separates (a boxy, contrasting-patterned jacket and skirt, paired with thigh-high boots, is one of my favorite looks).
An array of prints (polka-dots, plaids, geometric blocks, and painterly abstractions) that could have gone wild was delivered in a thoughtfully measured yet entirely exuberant manner. Would you expect anything less from Mr. de la Renta? He spotlighted Oscar classics like the fur-trimmed neckline and emphatically cinched waist, while volume came in the form of silks, which were crinkled, played with, and appropriated. Fanciful cocktail dresses, decked in fringe and beadwork, were finished off with matching cardigans – does it get more ladylike than that? Other dresses expressed a little more free-flow. If last season’s frocks were inspired by a sultry Spanish contessa, with as much volume in her voluminous locks as her explosive skirts, Pre-Fall’s star is a Grecian goddess – who has recently found herself on the Upper East Side.