09/11/2013 01:00 EDT | Updated 11/10/2013 05:12 EST

Oscar De la Renta's new Lady takes her cue from a free spirit

NEW YORK, N.Y. - There is nothing stuffy about the new Oscar de la Renta lady. Make that Lady, with a capital L.

She likes to be dressed — and dressed up — because she knows it looks good. Her navy-and-white checkered dress and cropped cape, and her white laser-cut dress make her feel like a million bucks. (No guessing on the price tag.)

The runway preview of the spring collection was held for a small crowd Tuesday evening. De la Renta chopped his guest list in half, saying he didn't want a side show full of people with no legitimate reason to be there.

He offered several of his signature embellishment and embroideries — anything else would have disappointed this crowd of loyalists. He used a very light touch, though, and the clothes exuded a happy, relaxed vibe. There were off-the-shoulder peasant tops, one in white lace and another in black sheer tulle, and a fancy embroidered tunic T-shirt.

There was a hint of a 1970s free spirit, not an easy thing in a ballgown destined for the red carpet or charity gala circuit.

The two finale gowns were worn by Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls, an ivory strapless column gown with tiers of pearl and sequin embroidery, and a citron-yellow strapless gown with an overlay of black threadwork and sequins, respectively.

With the models flanking him on each side — and each giving him a kiss on the cheek — de la Renta took his bow.


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