SINGAPORE - When we spoke to Oscar de la Renta's 'PR girl' Erika Bearman backstage before the American brand's catwalk show at Audi Fashion Festival 2014, she remained coy about what we could expect.
"No, you're going to have to wait and see," she teased. "All that I can say is that it's over 60 looks; there's a lot of special pieces that haven't been seen on the runway before. And we're just really excited to be here."
And a treat it was, even without the famed Dominican-born designer himself present for the occasion on May 18, 2014. He may not have been in Singapore but his gentlemanly manners were still intact; before the show began, designer Oscar de la Renta appeared on screen in a pre-recorded segment, apologising for his absence while inviting guests to enjoy the catwalk show.
While the house of Oscar de la Renta is best known for its ball gowns, the first few looks from its Autumn Winter 2014 collection showed the designer's equal sartorial deftness for menswear-inspired clothing too.
It's everyday-wear, done in that polished Oscar de la Renta way with models in pinstriped suits and belted coats striding confidently down the catwalk. Even the leather-sleeved motorcycle jacket was given a feminine update with a belted waist and peplum folds.
Above all, it's all about the details, from the bridal-inspired makeup to the beautifully braided coifs as well as the matching accessories and shoes. As always, there were no expense spared in the latter; every shoe and accessory used was selected to best match each individual look on the runway.
Without a step amiss, the presentation made a gradual transit into its Pre-Fall 2014 line with embroidered coats and big bows on colourful dresses that took inspiration from a myriad of sources. Oriental-style embroideries of peonies, Japanese-inspired folds and draping were featured prominently on full skirts, before seamlessly seguing into selected looks of Autumn Winter 2014 again, featuring tulle on knee-length frocks and intricate beadwork on column dresses.
So far, so typically Oscar de la Renta; until bright pops of colour injected a playful touch into the Pre-Fall 2014 line. Colourways that shouldn't have worked were melded so elegantly by Oscar de la Renta that they instantly made sense, like on a particular piece in baby pink and purple that was paired with a gigantic, unapologetically girly green bow.