Oscar de la Renta’s spring 2016 ready-to-wear collection was clearly designed for the sophisticated modern woman. With a mixture of new shapes and fresh takes on old ones, it is clear that Oscar’s successor Peter Copping has settled into his new role. While many designers focus on putting women of all ages into youthful ensembles, Copping decided to take quite a different approach. He celebrated the image of older women, and showed that there is still room in this world for fashionistas of all ages. Other designers target younger audiences, and often succeed in making clothes that older women could also wear and look fabulous in, but there is something wonderfully unique about Copping’s approach.
He accomplished the complete opposite by creating a collection geared toward older women. The result was truly incredible, as the garments sent down the runway would allow any woman to feel like the embodiment of sophistication. As de la Renta’s successor, Peter Copping created his collection as a homage to the late designer as well as showing the new ideas that he brings to the house.
In respect to the late Oscar de la Renta, Copping decided to begin his search for inspiration by looking to Oscar’s favorite flower: the carnation. From there, he then went on to draw inspiration from the Hispanic Society of Harlem, and more specifically, bullfighting. What resulted was ready-to-wear walking art that was displayed on the runway. The recurring carnation was the most striking element of the show, and Copping explained that people “used to throw red carnations into the ring directly after a bullfight.”
In order to set the mood for the show, Copping placed a single red carnation on each seat. A particular image of a floor length white gown adorned with a deep red carnation print and high lace neck comes to mind. This is the one piece that seems to bring everything this collection stands for together: the carnations in a deep red that show Peter and Oscar’s excellent eye for color, the sensual sophistication, and a cohesiveness that allows the rest of the pieces to work alongside one another.
Most pieces in the Oscar de la Renta spring 2016 collection portrayed at least one of these features, yet this is the gown that spoke to me. Maybe it’s the impeccably chosen print, because I also find myself remembering those pieces with the most fondness, like the carnation printed pencil skirt paired with a clean-white, thin sweater. Copping’s bullfighting inspiration was not left to the single image of the carnation, however. The designs also used flamenco ruffles, matador jackets, and bold combinations of red and black.
But what really brought the whole collection together in the end was the impeccable hair and makeup. With sleek, carefully placed hair and deep red lips, Copping brought each ensemble together to match the clothing’s high-society semblance. Through his stunning display of short and long dresses alike, Copping portrayed one distinct woman, and told a story through her wardrobe. Sophistication is not dead in today’s day and age, and Oscar de la Renta’s line proves it.
Photos courtesy of Vogue