News broke on the Friday before Labor Day that Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia of Monse are the new creative directors of Oscar de la Renta. The duo worked alongside Mr. de la Renta and launched their fledgling label after Peter Copping was selected as the late designer’s successor. Kim and Garcia, who will continue to design Monse alongside their new OdlR duties (not an easy task), took in the show from the front row; they’ll make their Oscar debut early next year. The Spring collection presented at the Morgan Library this afternoon was designed by the studio team, 10 members of which came out to take a bow at the finale. It was a feel-good moment for the brand ahead of Kim and Garcia’s homecoming.
There’s no substitute for a distinct point of view, but the design team has a fine handle on the house Oscar-isms. They touched on many of them here: the knit skirt suit, the safari jacket, the peasant dress. Of course, there was also a full complement of cocktail frocks and evening dresses. Not everything had the refinement of fit that we expect from this label; the safari shorts set comes to mind, as does the off-the-shoulder closing number in pintucked pink silk taffeta. But for a placeholder collection, this had some charmers—a cayenne red strapless silk faille number with a ruffled hem, and a black dress liberally stitched with pearls that looked particularly Oscar-y, among them. With flat, sometimes bejeweled, sandals for accessories, the show had a breezy, youthful, not-too-serious tone. The real business of renewing the house founder’s legacy will begin next February.