Oscar de la Renta Fall 2009If nothing else, Oscar de la Renta knows his ready-to-wear customers. They are not ladies that have felt serious effects of the recession, unless they were personal friends with Bernie Madoff. They are not ladies that have driven themselves through a fast-food drive-thru in the past several decades. They are not me. Or most of you, probably. They are the traditional “ladies who lunch.” They also may sit on the boards of philanthropic organizations, have silly heiress names (anyone remember Shippy Shipman from Sex and the City?), and actually need ball gowns for practical purposes. De la Renta’s clientele is a rarified group of women whose taste is refined and who demand the sort of classic perfection that only vast amounts of money can buy, unless you happen to extremely handy with a sewing machine. Fall into neither category? Neither do I, so make the jump and live vicariously through the pictures with me.

De la Renta’s collection included the kind of things you’d expect, because they’re the kind of thing he always makes – smart, demure, expertly tailored suits, luxe separates and coats, and cocktail dresses and ball gowns ranging from extravagant to exceptionally extravagant. He is not a designer that’s overly enchanted with the idea of youth, and as such, his clothes are made for grown women, not silly starlets. There are no gimmicks here, mostly just clothing that is beautiful, if not really my style (although I’d gladly add several of the cocktail dresses to my closet, whether or not they were meant for me). I find some of the ways that leopard was incorporated to be kind of…awkward (leopard print puffy vest? Oscar? Did you really sign off on that?), and most of the clothing to be predictable, even if it is gorgeous and classic. I can’t help but wish that de la Renta would experiment a bit, but I guess if it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it.

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