The critics celebrated Oscar de la Renta's return to opulence, admired Lim's restrained disco glitz, and praised The Row's simple, chic staples. Still, it wasn't all a success. Read what they had to say.
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta's luxurious, richly hued collection was lauded by the critics. "Whatever trends are flying around New York, Mr. Renta will be sure to give them the merest tip of his hat — and then go right ahead and make clothes that look richer than anybody else’s," noted The Wall Street Journal. Indeed, "[h]is clothes did not lack for confidence," affirmed Eric Wilson of the Times. The reviewers admired a marked return to flat-out opulence. "[H]is latest effort was his most gilded and audacious in a while," Style.com assessed, and Cathy Horyn of the Times concurred that "Mr. de la Renta was very much in a luxe-glam zone." WWD loved the eye-catching, splashy colors, which it felt "made for a pitch-perfect counterpoint to the season’s prevailing chic neutrality." And though furs were common on the runways this week, Wilson felt de la Renta's "were standouts for their novelty." "The ladies of Park Avenue will be mighty pleased indeed," declared Style.com. (On that note, though, Fashion Wire Daily quibbled with the models' styling, scolding, "piling makeup on beautiful young models with the average age of about 20 is never a smart idea. It does not render them more sophisticated, just more tired looking.") But in the end, FWD agreed that it was a triumphant show. "This designer’s response to the recession is clear; when the going gets tough the chic get classier."
Watch a slideshow of the Oscar de la Renta collection.
3.1 Phillip Lim
While there were a few misses in the mix, the critics were pleased with Phillip Lim's punk-disco fall collection. "A lot of designers like to think they know 'what girls want,' but Phillip Lim really has a knack for it," asserted Style.com, lusting after flared trousers and "gotta-have-it" outerwear. With a disco theme, there was potential for over-the-top glitz, but British Vogue felt a "sense of Seventies ease and elegance [pervading] the collection." WWD agreed: "Mr. Lim’s clothes, sold at stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys New York, are refined, and so was his use of glitter," it noted approvingly. And though the collection was rife with throwback references, "this never felt like a redux, but rather like a timely reinterpretation," declared British Vogue. It wasn't all on the mark. A bejeweled hot-pink frock was meant "only for the discotheque brave," WWD claimed, but the collection's easy separates "will have the rest of us aching to get the fall shopping party started."
Watch a slideshow of the 3.1 Phillip Lim collection.
The critics were impressed by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's fall show for The Row. Cathy Horyn of the Times asserted that the clothes "[fill] a void in the fashion industry," particularly admiring the fit and proportions of blouses paired with long skirts. "They actually do succeed in making great looking clothes," noted Fashion Wire Daily (sounding vaguely surprised). The clothes "[put] a premium on luxury combined with comfort and simplicity." Style.com called the clothes "utterly simple and anonymously chic," and WWD deemed them "classic with a subversive undercurrent." British Vogue objected to the setting, asserting that the collection "was not ... deserving of a runway show" and would be better represented in a presentation format. But even it admitted that the show was ultimately a success, calling it "an accomplished outing based on impeccably constructed clothing." In the end, "The Row’s easy elegance encapsulated the holy grail of many design shows: presenting a look that connotes luxury and taste without looking like you’re trying too hard," concluded The Wall Street Journal.