NEW YORK - Oscar de la Renta Tuesday unveiled its first collection since the death of its founder with a beautiful debut of Latin-inspired elegance made fresh by British creative director Peter Copping.
The de la Renta show was one of the most hotly anticipated of New York Fashion Week, with fashionistas intrigued to see how Copping would fare only four months since the death of the legendary Dominican-born designer.
"In this, my first collection, I hope to honor Oscar's legacy and also to start a new chapter for the house," wrote Copping in a brief note.
He was appointed just weeks before de la Renta's death from cancer cut short their hopes of collaborating on the 2015 fall/winter collection.
Copping said never having the chance to work with Oscar was "something I deeply regret" but said he was "immensely proud" to have been appointed.
Pop star Taylor Swift sat front row with supermodel Karlie Kloss, to watch the catwalk show starring Kim Kardashian's half-sister Kendall Jenner.
Hair was swept back in elegant chignons. There were beautiful skirt suits for the lady who lunches, high necklines and delicate bows at the throat, stylish fur coats in monochrome, or brown with a hint of orange.
Lines were clean and elegant, full skirts were cut just above the knee. There were creamy, blue-flower prints, checks and tweed in white, black, red, burgundy, purple, orange and brown.
For evening there were figure-hugging sheath dresses, sweetheart cocktail dresses with bubble skirts, or black lace halter necks.
Red carpet queen Vera Wang showcased a modern twist on Savile Row tailoring, offering daywear alongside the sophisticated evening dresses for which she is perhaps most famous.
"I thought there was a real need for purity, because I have seen so many red carpet dresses lately. I really wanted to go our own way," she told AFP backstage.
She laughed when asked whether she could provide any hints ahead of Sunday's Oscars in Los Angeles, when designers fall over themselves to dress Academy Award nominees -- and, better still, the winners.
The California-based sisters at Rodarte—who have dressed Oscar winner Natalie Portman and designed ballet costumes for her 2010 film "Black Swan"—offered sequin and flamenco-inspired evening wear.
Designer duo Kate and Laura Mulleavy rooted their collection in the colors of autumn, using the same browns and oranges that have been bang on trend this season.
"For me it's like going back to the more outdoorsy palette, kind of brown, things that are almost muted in a way but to me it's like seeing that in contrast with bright purple or orange," Kate Mulleavy told reporters.
Duchess of Cambridge favorite Jenny Packham showcased sophisticated evening wear inspired by the paintings of 19th century Spanish artist Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta.
The British designer said she was captivated by his portraits of beautiful, fashionable society women—the clientele she has made a career out of dressing.
She presented slinky cocktail dresses and billowing evening gowns, encrusted with beads, feathers and sequins. Trousers and jumpsuits were tailored, and breathtaking jackets were made out of crystals and pearls.
Her dresses, which have been worn by Hollywood A-list actresses such as Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet, came in many hues—navy, green, black and cocoa, accented with bursts of red and orange.
Tory Burch, who sits atop reportedly a more than $3 billion empire, mimicked rugs and tapestries in a collection inspired by Morocco's city of Marrakech and London's Chelsea in the 1960s and early 1970s.
"How to interpret that and make it modern, was the challenge," the American designer told AFP.
The palette was simple and alluring in white, olive, blue, gray and burgundy. Keeping to her brand of affordable luxury, there was little of the fur that has characterized more extravagant collections this season.