Oscar de la Renta New York Fashion Week 2014

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Lesson number one: Don’t overthink it. If you ask Oscar de la Renta whether there’s anything particular you should know about his collection in order, say, to contextualize it in a review, you may be graciously greeted with “I just do my best, that’s all.” What more is there?

De la Renta is one of those wonderfully old-school designers who approach their work, for the most part, as a service industry. His noble goal, one only can imagine, is to create and offer clothes to women that they will want to wear and in which they will feel beautiful and ready for anything. Of course, there’s a lot more effort, thought, and creative genius that goes into all that, but boiled down, that’s the end goal. And each season, he hits it.

For fall, de la Renta delivered on all counts. He offered his signature dress silhouettes for day and evening—that would be sleeveless with a full skirt and sweeping and strapless, respectively—as well as options like the swishy beaded columns. And there were beautiful suits in that broad shoulder-nipped waist-short peplum-slim skirt silhouette he’s been favoring lately.

But what de la Renta also did was pinpoint a few of the key ways of dressing for fall 2014 specifically that have developed thus far. There’s the menswear pattern, which de la Renta interpreted through gray pinstripe flannel used for fluid pants, a tailored coatdress, and a jumpsuit. Then there’s this look of a big sweater over a delicate skirt. De la Renta gave us a cozy mohair sweater in vibrant cobalt over a slim, floral, flared skirt. Then there’s the shearling; here it was a perfectly classy cream biker jacket. Oh, and the cut-out skirt. De la Renta’s black laser-cut grid version and one in claret lace were easily some of the best we’ve seen.

Not to mention the hair—always the hair. Orlando Pita outfitted all the models with sharp, messy bobs that had at least one fair-haired editor comment on the way out, “We’re cutting ours. And going dark.”

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