First Resort: Oscar Worthy

Resort collections rarely receive the attention they deserve in the UK. Possibly because Brits aren’t accustomed to winter travels in the way that Americans are. Yet often designers produce some of their best work for these special and almost seasonless lines, liberated from the thermal restraints of winter but not fully subscribing to the fat-free plea of summer.

I love this arresting new Oscar de la Renta dress taken from his 2010 Resort Collection. The black and white is classy, wintry and timeless, but I was surprised to discover upon closer inspection that the fabric is, in fact, crepe de chine, and what’s more – tie dyed. Oh behave!

The pattern here is a striking conversation between the Bridget Riley edginess of 1960s Op Art and the tangy sexiness of Cavalli’s zebra prints. The result is strong and sophisticated, an almost post-modern and pixilated play on houndstooth.

De la Renta is amongst a handful of elitists who effortlessly unite the excitement of haute couture with the pragmatics of prêt-a-porter. Whilst some of his contemporaries like Bill Blass seemed to burn out in the 1980s, de la Renta (who will turn 80 in a couple of years) is still one of the world’s best designers.

This piece costs $2490, pictured above with an accompanying black and white water snake embroidered roll clutch ($960). A lot you may think, but actually quite reasonable considering de la Renta’s main market is selling wedding dresses from $20,000 and counting.

Just look at the fragility and finesse of the crepe de chine below. Oscar is nothing short of outstanding.

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