Oscar de la Renta once said, “the great thing about fashion is that it always looks forward.” It’s true — designers of esteemed fashion houses and editors of high-brow fashion magazines foresee and create our sartorial future. In the midst of winter, top designers showcase next fall’s collections, and the September issues of high-brow fashion magazines are planned years in advance. De la Renta looked forward, too. He forecasted both fashion’s future and the fate of his eponymous empire. Merely a week before he lost his eight-year battle with intermittent lymphoma, de la Renta appointed Peter Copping as his successor. Though maintaining de la Renta’s signature elegant femininity posed an undeniably daunting task, it’s clear Copping’s debut collection exceeded expectations.

All of the industry’s most scrutinizing eyes were given the benefit of the doubt as Copping delivered a quintessentially Oscar collection with appropriate and innovative personal touches. Copping paid homage to the late tastemaker with fairytale frocks, dirndl skirts and lettuce hems, yet added an edgier, gothic flair with a black fringed ’70s shift dress and ball gowns consisting of unconventional, sheer bodices with textured overlays. In typical de la Renta attention to detail, subliminal romantic touches of ornate embellishment and unlined lace beneath coat and suit dresses added a sophisticated polish to many looks. Immaculate eveningwear stole the show, particularly a strapless, ombré magenta mini dress with textured rosettes and a fitted, floor-length gown of jeweled applique atop cobalt faille. As the finale concluded, the show’s audience and live-streamers alike were relieved knowing Copping successfully wrote the new chapter of ODLR.

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