Culottes have yet to take over the streets of New York -- or Paris, or London, or Los Angeles for that matter -- and yet that hasn't stopped designers from faithfully including them in their collections for the past few seasons. Consumer adoption has been tepid, no doubt, because culottes -- with their extravagant proportions and pleating, and the fact that cropped pants are challenging for any women shorter than 5'7" -- are not an inviting garment to wear. It hasn't helped that on runways and in look books they've had a distinctly masculine vibe, styled with slouchy sweaters and boxy jackets which, yes, models can get away with, but most "normal" women cannot.
Leave it to Oscar de la Renta, then, to design (and style) a pair of culottes that are both feminine and flattering. His resort 2015 pair -- black, straight-cut and creased sharply on the front -- were roomy but still sleek, balanced proportionately by an orange-red bandeau top and tall black patent heels. Two pieces of matching jewelry and a graphic handbag polished the look.
Wearability seemed to be the key theme of De la Renta's resort collection -- there were plenty of easy, lightweight coats in simple colors worn open; dresses and skirts that flared at the hips, and generously cut shorts. The true standouts were the evening dresses, particularly a cocktail dress and gown rendered in nude and gold, and a floral strapless gown with a large bow in the back, certainly the most Instagrammed of the collection. When one round of gowns was introduced, Glenda Bailey of Harper's Bazaar began clapping and exclaiming, "These are gorgeous!" causing even the models to smile.
De la Renta's new shoe designer, Daniel Lawler, also made his debut, showing towering pointed pumps and modest kittens heels in mostly solid colors, and an inventive mule with a fabric strap that tied at the ankle and hung long in the back.
You can see the entire collection -- 38 looks in all -- in the slideshow below.