Fashion / Style

Oscar de la Renta Returns to its Legendary Founder’s Roots — and it’s a Nonstop Fashion Holiday

To the Dominican and Beyond

BY // 09.27.19

NEW YORK — Since taking over as co-creative directors at Oscar de la Renta in 2016, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia have been on a nonstop holiday.

In recent fashion seasons, they have taken fans of the venerable brand to Morocco and India, southern Spain, and the Cloisters, the bucolic upper Manhattan museum dedicated to the art, architecture and gardens of medieval Europe, with designs influenced by their travels near and far.

For spring 2020, the design duo went to a special place with a bright and breezy collection influenced by the Dominican Republic, the homeland of de la Renta, the iconic designer who passed away in 2014.

“We really wanted to tap into the house’s Latin American roots,” Garcia, who also hails from the small Caribbean nation, told Vogue.

They set the scene with a backdrop of color-washed arches, palm trees and big fruit baskets displayed in the manner of markets in tropical towns like Santo Domingo, Cartagena, San Juan and Havana before a star-studded audience that included figure skater Adam Rippon, actress Priyanka Chopra and Princess Olympia of Greece.

Much of the collection had the same languid vacation feeling, with raffia dresses and matching sun hats and totes, colorful caftans, striped gowns with fringe hem, laser-cut sundresses, floral shorts and trousers with patchwork detail.

OSCAR DE LA RENTA spring 2020 collection at New York Fashion Week
Oscar de la Renta striped caftan. (Photo courtesy of Oscar de la Renta)

Many of the colors were super saturated, to evoke the jewel-like shades and luminous sunsets of the Caribbean. Right from the start, Kim and Garcia emphasized the use of bright colors with a tailored hot pink double-breasted blazer over a sherbet-shaded ombre silk chiffon wrap dress.

Even the evening gowns, which have long been a trademark of the de la Renta brand, had a more relaxed feeling. The duo featured several taffeta gowns with high-low hemlines — short in the front and long in the back — and kept ornamentation to a minimum, except for a few gowns with intricate silver beading and a cropped crystal blouse over a tiered tulle skirt that evoked the most buzz from the fashion-savvy audience.

Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - On The Runway Spring 2020