By Samantha Spiegel
On May 19, 2011, Neiman Marcus’ third floor salon was filled with incredible Oscar de la Renta haute couture. De la Renta, being no stranger to detail and precision, made sure there was no lack thereof in his new collection. As I began to walk through the clothes, heavily beaded and embroidered strapless and one-shouldered gowns, usually bejeweled around the neckline or waistline, flowed out from the clothing racks. Gowns struck a romantic, sophisticated, glamourous, yet sexy note with black tulle and silk organza, beaded lace, and gilded colors.
The gowns beautifully shaped and flattered the female figure, much of the time resembling the silhouette and style of a woman from a René Gruau world and the first noticeable motifs were the fine florals and twisting lines. But the gowns suddenly turned into stiff, made out of parkas. From Palm Beach. Successfully, however, it dove back into sophistication with a slinky, black velvet dress and a Poiret-inspired, cocooning silhouette of a twisted ruffle empire skirt and .
Two pinnacles of the trunk show were the voluminous and feathered Gruau-inspired and the 19th-century-inspired dresses: pastels, bows, slight Oriental embroidery, and high-necked boleros.
The rest of the collection was not very inspiring to me, personally. Modern pieces, profoundly influenced by tribal designs and dense colors, seemed foreign and inharmonious next to couture gowns that could have easily been worn by an Irving Penn or Richard Avedon model.