NEW YORK — Highlights from New York Fashion Week on Monday:
OSCAR DE LA RENTA SAYS NO MORE RULES
At Oscar de la Renta, the storied label that epitomizes luxury and refinement, designer Laura Kim has a new motto for her clients: “You’re not dressing up for your mothers anymore.”
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 both grand and casual at the same time. Many of the evening looks Kim and Garcia presented on Monday at their runway show epitomized this idea — for example, a long glittering skirt with embroidered sequins, perhaps in a ballgown shape, but topped with a simple sweater or very light top.
“You can wear a T-shirt to an evening event,” Kim said in an interview 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 specializing 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 both 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 colors, including black of course. It was a lighter take on the formal evening coat that de la Renta used to do it shiny satin. But it still retained the essence of those earlier garments.
“I think Oscar would have loved that coat,” Kim said.
____ RALPH LAUREN HEADS TO JAMAICA
As the Olympic outfitter of Team USA, Lauren’s job is done in South Korea, so where to go next?
Under gloomy skies and intermittent sprinkles in New York, he headed for his Jamaica retreat in Montego Bay as inspiration for spring and summer collections for both men and women.
The clothes couldn’t have screamed Jamaica louder. They were nautical. They included the yellows and greens of the island country’s flag and regatta pennants, along with pops of red and blue in bold graphic designs. There were yachts on wide ties and, well, kind of all over.
And, as always, there was Ralph Lauren himself on the runway for his end-of-show walk and wave to guests that included Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Rachel Brosnahan.
“Everyone wishes for a magical place where they can step out of time and into the beauty of nature,” Lauren said in show notes. “I wanted to share the mood, the light, the blue and white freshness of my retreat in Jamaica.”
The brand said all of this in crisp cottons and silks, stripes and tie dye. There were patent leather shorts and jackets worthy of a tropical downpour or afternoon deckside. There were also predictable whites in lightweight suiting for men and women, along with some evening looks for the latter.
And they didn’t forget the jaunty caps and deck mocs, either.
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