There is a distinct revival of ladylike polish happening on the NY catwalks. Suddenly gloves, pearls, stoles and a finely turned court shoe are making a comeback as essentials in the stylish wardrobe. It’s a world that many NY designers are happy to dip in and out of as the mood of prevailing trends take them. It’s a world that Oscar de la Renta has been happy never to leave.
For the grown up suit, glamorous day dresses, killer cocktail, gowns that demand attention and coats that look like they belong to women who either hold high office or simply have high net worth, there is nowhere else to go but Oscar.
I experienced the Oscar effect once when I had to take part in a fashion debate in front of an audience of 1500 people. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life when what I wore had to have stage presence and underline fashion credentials while not distracting from the argument: in that rabbit in headlights moment it seemed only Oscar would do. No wonder he is the fall back option of women all over the world who have work to do in the glare of a spotlight: from the lonely walk down the red carpet to the pitch perfect performance as part of a presidential party.
For them this season there is the perfect day dress in plum crepe, a black and white tweed suit that looks like it means business and gowns that don’t need jewels to be taken seriously. Job done.
- Paula Reed in New York