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At Oscar de la Renta, a Mediterranean vacation on a rooftop

/ 05:36 PM September 12, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Two years into their tenure at the helm of Oscar de la Renta, designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia continue to seek new ways to inject a more relaxed vibe into the label — while maintaining its famous craftsmanship.

Nicki Minaj, Fernando Garcia, Laura Kim

Co-Creative Directors of Oscar de la Renta, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, acknowledge audience applause, including Nicki Minaj, left, after their spring 2019 collection was modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew

On Tuesday, the pair put on a rooftop runway show that felt like a sunny Mediterranean vacation — well, once it actually stopped drizzling. There were bold prints, lots of fringe, crocheted dresses and loose, comfy caftans taking their place among the elegant, structured gowns the label is best known for.

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The two moods of the collection could perhaps best be sampled by looking at the show’s opening and closing garments, each modeled by a famous Hadid sister.

Bella Hadid, Oscar de la Renta

Bella Hadid models fashion from the Oscar de la Renta spring 2019 collection during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Bella Hadid kicked things off in a fringed, sarong-like skirt with a tulip print and a white, one-armed top. And Gigi Hadid finished the show in a long, sheer black lace gown — also with one arm free — with delicate ruffles running up the leg.

Backstage after the high-profile show, which drew celebrities like Nicki Minaj (and her mother), Kate Beckinsale and Dianna Agron, the designing duo had just a few words to describe what they were going for.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj attends the Oscar de la Renta show during Fashion Week on Tuesday Sept. 11, 2018 in New York. Image: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Kate Beckinsale, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Dianna Agron, Nicky Hilton Rothschild

Kate Beckinsale, from left, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Dianna Agron and Nicky Hilton Rothschild attend the Oscar de la Renta show during Fashion Week on Tuesday Sept. 11, 2018 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

“More relaxed Oscar,” pronounced Garcia.

“Lighter,” noted Kim.

“Sexier,” added Garcia.

The two agreed that each season, they’ve experimented just a bit more with the aesthetic of the label’s legendary founder. This time, they thought about all the countries they’d traveled to for inspiration, and then actually made a print from a map of them, which appears on several garments.

“You can see, it goes from Turkey, to Morocco, to China,” Kim said, pointing to a photo on her look board backstage.

Oscar de la Renta

Models walk in the finale of the Oscar de la Renta spring 2019 collection during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew

A number of the garments had a relaxed, looser fit, and Kim said that had something to do with the weather this year. “It was so hot this summer that I think I personally felt the need for looser clothes,” she said.

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Chief among them: caftans, perhaps the ideal vacation garment. “We always had caftans but we never really showed them,” said Kim. “But I’m starting to realize that that’s all I want to wear in summer.”

Oscar de la Renta

The Oscar de la Renta spring 2019 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Oscar de la Renta

The Oscar de la Renta spring 2019 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Colors included a lot of neutrals, but also bold colors like bright canary yellow, and a new terra cotta red.

Oscar de la Renta

The Oscar de la Renta spring 2019 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Speaking of canaries, one highly whimsical touch was a white birdcage purse — with a wallet inside, resembling a bird. Not exactly your traditional de la Renta accessory.

For their own, much more casual and younger line, Monse, the two designers had said they metaphorically raided their grandmother’s closet this season (albeit a rich grandmother). So, they were asked, whose closet did they raid for their Oscar de la Renta collection?

“I think everybody in the Mediterranean,” Garcia quipped. NVG

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TAGS: fashion show, Fernando Garcia, Laura Kim, Mediterranean, New York Fashion Week, Oscar de la Renta
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