NYFW AW17 : Soul Searching with Oscar de la Renta

By Omi Chowdhury & Lotus Ladegaard

Since design duo Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia resumed the roles as co-creative directors at Oscar de la Renta, the world of fashion has anticipated their debut collection set for this season. The duo worked a combined 18 years for the iconic brand before Peter Cropping was appointed creative director and the duo left to start their own brand; Monse. Oscar de la Renta’s Prefall Collection was a promising account of what was to come for the brand, which the AW17 collection follows up to an extent. The presentation itself mired in controversy as half of the audience were not able to see the show due to curtains malfunction. The collection in itself was modern, youthful, but lacked the gravity of the famed designer house. While the colour palette was anything but simple with bright oranges and glittery embellishments, they did not blow the lingering doubts around OdlR's direction. The silhouettes varied from classic to modern and tried to encompass every formation without fully excelling in one. The design duo did achieve to move the brand forward but the movement was incremental and at times seemed labored.  It is easy to see that Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia want to push OdlR in a new era with young ideas and materials but this collection seemed a bit on the edge, a bit stuck between two new ideas as opposed to one cohesive formation of ideas, with its history firmly providing the foundation. Despite the shortcomings of the collection, it did provide a glimpse of a better future and hopefully more cohesive looks from OdlR.  From suits and small black dresses to tee-length ball gowns, long dresses and to outerwear, the collection had it all but something was missing...the intricacy, the whimsy, the craftsmanship were muted and at times not fully realized.  Oscar De La Renta’s AW17 collection is the first step in the brand’s new future under Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia and judging by this season’s collection, we might be in for a rocky ride. But the reassuring thing is that both Kim and Garcia have enough talent between them to outdo even the best shows and it will be a bad bet to bet against them coming out with something extraordinary and something that does justice to their talent.