New York Fashion Week Spring 2013: Oscar de la Renta Does Glamour for Every Age

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In addition to his signature tweedy suits and ballgowns, fashion’s favorite high-society designer surprises with latex tanks and leggy cocktail shorts that are just right for Hollywood’s young actresses.

Every once in a while there’s a fashion show that just makes you happy. The clothes are beautiful, the colors are bright, the music is upbeat (you might catch yourself tapping your heels along) and the models somehow seem to have extra bounce in their steps. That was Oscar de la Renta’s spring 2013 presentation. It had a little bit of everything — chic daytime separates, flouncy cocktail dresses and no-holds-barred evening gowns — for the uptown crowd, political wives (and their daughters — twin sisters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush attended the show) and, of course, Hollywood actresses.

The designer offered classically elegant looks for his longtime clientele — scalloped lace tops, below-the-knee skirts, peplum jackets and a silvery beaded tunic-length top with matching beaded pants— but there were also plenty of unexpectedly cool pieces for the younger crowd. Slinky latex tanks, latex pencil skirts and “cocktail shorts” including a shocking pink ostrich feather peplum bustier with matching short-shorts and legs for miles. And, all of the models sported soft punky streaks of hot pink and purple in their well-coiffed updos. The message was: These aren't just your mom's clothes.

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The designer’s young Hollywood following continues to build with actresses such as Lea Michele, Ashley Greene, Kiernan Shipka, Jessica Biel and Zooey Deschanel all wearing his dresses on the red carpet. The spring collection had some serious awards season contenders that are sure to be on every major stylist’s short list  — we’ll likely see one or two on Emmy night. A pale pink organza gown with delicate cherry blossom embroidery and a gold embroidered oyster-hued strapless gown would make flashbulbs pop. Added bonus: Both featured softly sloped hemlines that are perfect for showing off some serious statement-making heels — that is where the focus seems to be this season! The real stunner was a shocking pink silk faille gown with a contrasting turquoise back and tassel embroidery, but it’s likely more editorial than red carpet unless worn by someone like Zoe Saldana who could totally pull it off.

“It was beautiful. The colors were beautiful,” said Vogue’s editor Anna Wintour after the show. That pretty much says it all.