The Oscar de la Renta brand has a sophisticated gold standard, and as each new season comes that feeling stays constant, while still creating updated looks for the modern woman of today. Peter Copping, as creative director, has upheld the brand ideals, which brings us to the Oscar de la Renta fall/winter 2016-2017 ready-to-wear showing for New York Fashion Week. The looks were the epitome of luxury high fashion, with absolutely lovely prints and colors, and expertly skirted the line between simple and interesting, which made for a refined, yet still incredibly versatile, collection.
One of only five American designers, who were present during the Battle of Versailles Fashion Show in 1973, was Oscar de la Renta. The event, which saw an audience of figures from Andy Warhol to Princess Grace, was part of the awe-inspiring turning point in fashion. This is where Copping looked to inspire his new fall collection for the brand, likely in an attempt to evoke that same feeling of awe.
“It was about modernity and the minimalism of American sportswear versus French tradition,” Copping told Vogue, about the 1973 iconic Battle and fashion moment. And later, directly before the show to WWD the designer added, “Oscar was much more minimal at that time than what he became.” The transition of a designer can be a make-or-break moment, and in this case, hearing about such an iconic designer and his days before his true potential was reached is rather surreal.
It is a rather gutsy move on Copping’s part to explicitly state such a rich inspiration source as being the leading contributing factor to this new line. But the inspiration was used to an expert caliber. You could see where pieces were hinting at the styles and structures of the past, but you could also see where modern techniques were used to give some updates to the original looks in the collection from the ’70s. He delved into the work of 1700s fashion, as he used boning techniques for corsets within the collection on interesting pieces, such as those made of leather, which would otherwise raise eyebrows with this more delicate-seeming feature.
One of the most versatile aspects of the Oscar de la Renta fall 2016 collection were the knit undershirts. This shows the culmination of Copping’s years of work at Nina Ricci as a knitwear innovator, as the garments were totally seamless and as thin as tissue paper. The rich colors used make these pieces ideal for fall and winter, and will make the perfect contribution to layered looks to keep fashionistas going strong all through the cold months.
The chic skirts paired with these tops would be perfect for any occasion, from a day outing to a more sophisticated evening event. It’s not always about the flashy garments, because sometimes the most striking fashion moment is one that is so pristinely made and smooth like the looks walking this runway.
It seems that Copping decided to pay the extra level of homage to the late designer by ebbing toward the minimal side of design, but the looks could have been pushed a little bit more. This would have stirred a bit more excitement to hype up the environment, but this wasn’t a necessity. The level of simple chicness was more than enough for one runway showing, and even though it came and went as a light breeze, the essence won’t soon be forgotten.
Photos courtesy of Vogue