When a relatively new creative director has very large, very legendary shoes to fill, it usually takes them a while to find their groove. But seeing that Peter Copping was handpicked by the late, wonderful Oscar de la Renta himself as the heir apparent to the throne, it’s not all that much of a surprise that he stepped into them seemingly effortlessly. For his third collection for the famed fashion house, Copping selected a new location: the Prince George Ballroom. He’s creating his own stories, and this season, he’s also reference 1973’s famed Battle of Versailles. Peter is equally dedicated to paying homage to the original designer’s core vision, and Oscar’s personal touches were everywhere, in the decadent crystal-embroidery embellishments, sparkling sequin bodices, splashes of opulent floral patterns, and delicate A-line lace-guipere skirts, to name a few.
Twenty-first century materials, like techno canvas, were melded with pointedly 18th-century elements, like damask silks and duchesse satins, blooming sleeves, and impossible feminine hourglass silhouettes for an elevating juxtaposition. The same goes for leather corsets with old-world boning and swimwear-inspired details. Other noteworthy components: Dainty mink collars fastened with super-skinny, bow-tied silk cords; seamless, whisper-thin stretch-viscose sweaters and gloves to match for the lady with a seductive slant; and tinsel-flecked tea-length organza skirts, taffeta-bow accents, and plenty of brocade to match the exaggerated cocktail rings.
There’s a plethora of glamorously wearable pieces, from the merino turtleneck, naturally with lace-chiffon cuffs, and its accompanying plongé leather tulip skirt, to the day-to-night bonded leather dresses and double-face cashmere coats. But really, it’s the element of semi-accessible fantasy we cherish most about Oscar de la Renta. A lace and silk taffeta top that reads like an ebony confection paired with stretch drill cigarette pants? Yes, please. A striking French blue vest featuring a fluffy Mongolian lamb front and mink back, cinched with a sturdy belt? I’d be delighted! A wickedly printed mink coat in shades of black, white, dove, and Bordeaux with a fox-band hem? Even better!
With a lean stiletto heel, the Louise pump is a demure take on the platform, while the Colette comes in bejeweled satin incarnations. From head to toe, this is a wardrobe fit for a current-day princess. Sure, no major risks were taken and this collection isn’t quite as pulse-quickening as Copping’s work for Spring ’16, but respect is of utmost importance here, and we can say with certainty that the inimitable Oscar de la Renta would be proud.