Oscar de la Renta debuts sweeping gowns, Justin Timberlake keeps it real at William Rast, and Marchesa's dresses are in full bloom. VIEW OUR GALLERY of the best of Wednesday's styles.
Critics may have hailed Marc Jacobs' muted collection on Tuesday as pitch-perfect, "safe," and "money in the bank." But on Wednesday, luxurious collections from Oscar de la Renta and Marchesa were just the opposite.
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Things were very uptown at de la Renta's show on the Upper East Side, but the luxurious looks were far from uptight. Fur-trimmed coats, fox-skin caps, sables, and tweeds paraded around the runway. "The models at Oscar de la Renta today hinted of espionage," wrote The New York Times' Cathy Horyn. Evening dresses ranged from a plunging silver gown belted with rope to a vaguely '80s (it may have been the Dynasty hair) cowl-neck gold dress cinched perfectly with a black belt.
More Fashion Week Coverage from The Daily Beast • Days 1-3• Day 4• Day 5• Day 6• Day 8Gold body liquid also appeared at Michael Kors, where a sparkling floor-length gown was a highlight in a collection of staples: wearable chunky knits and camel colors. Philip Lim, too, presented a more sober collection of muted palettes—but, as he often does—topped it off with a dusting of gold. Sparkle winked under layers of chiffon and fur, and peaked out from under the hem of a cape. This, he explained, was inspired by "a disco party that comes to an end because of exhaustion and excess." The collection ended with a bright finale: a blush-colored pink silk dress with an asymmetrical hem billowed down the runway. Though the look was delicate, nude-colored arms covered in gold and silver beading made the model look vaguely like a tattooed lady.
Another tattoo motif appeared at Marchesa, where Johnny Weir fans enjoyed an intricately embroidered body stocking covered in flowers, which branched out over the chest, shoulder, and leg. At the hips, a bustle of white fabrics fanned out in front and back. In the program for the collection, designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig described this season as inspired by "the satirical circus travels" of the dancer Lola Montez. Movement certain found its way into each sculptural dress, many of which sprouted, three-dimensionally into the room. Short dresses were covered in appliqué rosebuds and cascading pinwheel tulle and longer gowns bloomed with giant architectural flowers top to bottom.
"Marchesa is Marchesa: for the red carpet," Bryan Boy, the Filipino fashion blogger said, eyeing the dresses. And perhaps scanning for the red carpet, Rachel Zoe plowed through the designers' presentation, with a cameraman, her assistant Brad Goreski, and husband Rodger in tow. Nicole Richie, who was wearing a beaded Marchesa dress under a black jacket, cooed that the collection was "beautiful and elegant," adding, "I love everything!" Harvey Weinstein, who is married to Chapman, also circulated around the room, talking up the gowns: "This one's a knockout," he said, pointing to a black dress embroidered with crystals. But he also paused to talk about something slightly less elegant: Inglorious Basterds, which he says he's sure will win the Oscar for Best Picture—and, if it doesn't win, he told The Daily Beast, "we'll steal it, because we're bastards!"
Isabel Wilkinson is an assistant editor at The Daily Beast.