With a brand as established and with a history as rich as Oscar de la Renta, you'd think it could only exist in the context of the runway or the red carpet — which can make the prospect of a pandemic-era debut challenging. This is a house of ballgowns, eveningwear and society wardrobes! But as Laura Kim and Fernando García continue to evolve Oscar de la Renta with youthful energy and expression, while honoring the codes of the founding designer they both trained under, the co-creative directors don't need to rely on traditional formats to convey the spirit of any given collection (or to get us excited for what's coming up next).
Oscar de la Renta was absent from the in-person New York Fashion Week schedule this season, opting instead to premiere its Fall 2022 collection in the form of a short film yet again. This time, models Jordan Daniels, Taylor Hill, Mayowa Nicholas and Barbara Valente star as Oscar de la Renta employees, going about their day in the office — making copies, taking calls, looking at their phones instead of their work computers — while dressed in the autumnal line. (Uh, is that part of the benefits package?) Hill gets a mysterious text message: "Hey, come meet me at the Boom Boom Room." That's all it takes for the Oscar girls to grab their coats and head downtown in their best party looks for a night of dancing, all to the tune of Britney Spears' "Gimme More." (Look closely, and you'll see Tan France eyeing one model in a pink tulle gown struggling to get her Oscar-ified Metro Card to swipe at the turnstile, as well as Tina Craig, Tina Leung, Ezra J. Williams and other friends of the brand partying at the Boom Boom Room.)
The collection itself echoes this feeling of exuberance and drama, while celebrating the joy of dressing up. The collection opens with a series of checkered mini sets and dresses in black, green and magenta; ocean blue leather separates; flowy blouses in pink and seafoam green; a sunflower yellow mini dress with a trompe d'oeil black bow encrusted with crystal; a turtleneck knit and a formfitting, puff-sleeved black dress covered in diamanté embellishments meant to mimic a pearl print from the Oscar archives. Then we move into some of the many party dresses on offer, featuring shredded tulle, crocheted florals and pietre dure prints.
In addition to the usual garden motifs, Kim and García drew from a few different sources of inspiration of Italian origin, from the aforementioned pietre dure prints to Boticelli's masterpiece "The Birth of Venus" and the painted garden of Livia at Rome's Palazzo Massimo, which informed some of the other graphics and embroideries seen later in the collection. Other highlights include the monochromatic smooth velvet cocktail dresses and petaled details that add fun dimension and texture, and the fringe embellishments, tinsel and ombré sequins that round out the line.
See the full Oscar de la Renta Fall 2022 collection in the gallery below.