We always look forward to Oscar de la Renta's shows: They're posh, often celeb-studded, and full of gorgeous red-carpet-ready gowns. But this season there was even more anticipation leading up to de la Renta's fall runway show.
At Anna Wintour's behest, de la Renta has been hosting disgraced Dior designer John Galliano at his atelier for the past three weeks as a "designer in residence."
Based on reports from WWD, Galliano was believed to be assisting with de la Renta's fall collection in some way. How or to what extent was anyone's guess.
So did we get some answers last night? Sort of.
There were rumors that Galliano would take a bow with de la Renta at the close of the show. He didn't. On the credits sheet that acknowledged de la Renta's design assistants, hair and makeup team, and stylist, there was no mention of Galliano.
But Galliano did indeed help with the styling of de la Renta's fall show. Makeup artist Gucci Westman told us that Galliano was very specific about the way the models' faces should look. "John wanted one girl to have this kind of weird Faye Dunaway lip color that's kind of opaque," she said. "He was like 'Just make this sick color.'"
"Both Oscar and John were very involved in the whole thing--with the looks and everything," Westman added. The New York Times' Eric Wilson reports that Galliano "spent hours leading a seminar in how to tie the belts properly."
Hints of Galliano's influence could be seen throughout the collection, and especially in the opening looks. The draped jackets, tied at the waist, worn with below-the-knee pencil skirts, were reminiscent of Galliano's work at Dior. The dramatic felt cloche hats by Patricia Underwood also seemed more Galliano than de la Renta, and the cocoon coat in look 26 recalled this bluebell number from Galliano's masterful floral-themed Fall 2010 Dior couture collection.
It was still de la Renta's show--albeit a darker, moodier side of de la Renta. The red tweed suits and citrine toile dresses for de la Renta's ladies-who-lunch were there, but so were dramatic flowing hooded capes worn with skinny leather jeans, a la Saint Laurent. In another nod to Saint Laurent, there were several takes on Le Smoking. De la Renta's version was a belted cocktail dress.
But to remind the packed house--which included designers Diane von Furstenberg and Valentino Garavani--who was in charge, the show closed with dramatic, signature de la Renta eveningwear. Even if Karlie Kloss's matted hair and dark eye makeup looked to have Galliano's direction behind it, the silk faille gown with gold toile embroidery she closed the show in was pure Oscar.