Oscar de la Renta Resort Collection 2021

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Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim’s resort collection for Oscar de la Renta was absolutely lovely — pretty, festive, younger.

The ability to design a collection during a pandemic with fabrics bought before lockdown has been a common challenge (among many) for designers through the resort. Yet working at a luxury brand like Oscar de la Renta, with its 20-plus years of industry and mill relationships has its perks, and luckily Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia weren’t limited by stock.

“We actually had to redesign three times,” Kim said over Zoom. “Re-bought the fabric, had to start from scratch. Luckily our vendors were very understanding.” While the duo designed an initial collection prior to lockdown, they decided it didn’t fit the needs of the world we’re in today.

The new resort collection was described as “pared-down,” although by most meanings of the phrase, it wasn’t. But for the evening-centric brand, the statement made sense. The collection was lovely — pretty, festive, younger.

The resort was more lighthearted and feminine than the last few collections, offering sweet, textural variety through floral blooms on silhouettes that balanced the line of the evening — and “entertaining-at-home” — wear. Moire rosettes were twisted onto sophisticated frocks, cutout floral appliqués adorned darling cocktail offerings and hand-painted blossoms decorated cotton daywear.

Garcia and Kim worked with classic Oscar tweeds and made them playful for the day a la matching jacket and skirt — or short sets, complete with nostalgic details of silk scoubidou braided trim (like the lanyards made during summer camp) and gardening-inspired hats. The looks resonated casual cool, whether styled (by Alex White) with striped garb or worn alone, like a black-and-white knit or a festive, holiday Lurex number.

Caftans were noted as an expanded category for the resort. Garcia speculated that the category’s increased success and intrigue were due to the garment’s hybrid qualities, offering relaxed ease for the day (styled with classic white They New York sneakers) or a more glamorous elan for the evening (a voluminous, red taffeta rendition paired with Aurora James’ Brother Vellies sandals).

To top off the collection, happy, sky blue dresses emblazoned with lemon appliqués came both short and long, and flaunted the lineup’s optimistic spirit.