At Oscar de la Renta, the label that epitomises luxury and refinement, designer Laura Kim has a new motto for her clients: You’re not dressing up for your mothers any more.
Kim and her design partner, Fernando Garcia, are taking the company into the future with skill and craftsmanship (and great fabrics), but also with the view that fashion’s rules have changed forever. Or, as Garcia puts it: There ARE no more rules.
This means that for evening, an outfit can be grand and casual at the same time. Many of the evening looks Kim and Garcia presented on Monday at their runway show epitomised this idea – for example, a long glittering skirt with embroidered sequins, perhaps in a ball gown shape, but topped with a simple sweater or very light top.
�You can wear a T-shirt to an evening event,�Kim said after the show, if you can pull it together nicely. “I just think there are so many more options to show your creative arc. For us, it’s great. It’s a fun time.”�She herself was wearing a tulle T-shirt that could move easily from day to evening.
The designers said their collection was inspired by a memory: A 2014 trip to the Cloisters, the upper Manhattan museum specialising in European medieval art and architecture. Their host: None other than de la Renta himself. (The legendary designer died that same year.)
Memories of that trip got Kim and Garcia looking at Elizabethan embroidery, and they were drawn to a tree-branch pattern that now appears on much of their new collection – for daytime and evening looks. “It just had this perfect amount of contrast,”Garcia said.
Both designers said they were partial to a particular garment: An evening coat in filmy tulle, which appeared in the show in several colours, including black. It was a lighter take on the formal evening coat that de la Renta used to do in shiny satin. But it retained the essence of those earlier garments. “I think Oscar would have loved that coat,” Kim said.