Thursday, February 17, 2011
Oscar de la Renta Fall2011
Looking at this collection I am puzzled by what other reviews have said. They refer to his embrace of all things opulent, a king's ransom of riches and luxury beyond one's wildest dreams. That is easy to imagine when you consider his history and the exalted place he's held in the fashion universe for so many years. But looking at the clothes I am hard pressed to find anything wildly luxurious or rich beyond belief. What I do see is a confusing line up of day and evening ensembles whose common thread seems to be awkward shapes, mature proportions, a mash up of elements meant to convey sophistication and wealth all mustered by a heavy and plodding hand. What happened to the mystery, magic and mastery? Fabrics seem to lean towards the obvious and some look as though they came from the shelves of Lee Joffa where Mr. de la Renta has a new business designing fabrics for interiors. I can remember season after season of shows that topped one after the other. Talk about brilliant tailoring and magnificent techniques employed for decoration. I remember being stricken at the sight of suits, coats, dresses for day and unimaginably chic cocktail and evening gowns. Who turned on the lights? Who styled the show with its regrettable shoes and clumsy hats? Is it a case of having taken in the wrong principals for the house even though they're family? Perhaps, he stopped listening to critics and only hears the chorus. When the show wound down to the final evening looks I was sure to find some memorable gowns considering the Oscars are around the corner. I saw one that looked like a collage of scenes from Matisse paintings but beyond that they were as muddled as the the rest.