PHOTOS: Oscar de La Renta’s Turkish Delight

Oscar de la Renta‘s fall presentation was an hour full of firsts for me. It was the first time I’d been in the same room as Anna Wintour (whose presence can be felt from 30 feet away). It was the first time I saw Karlie Kloss on the catwalk. And it was the first time someone made clothes that actually just stopped me dead in our tracks.

I was stunned throughout De la Renta’s fall collection, a lineup of coats, jackets and dresses made with an attention to detail most neurosurgeons can’t say they’re capable of. There was a simple sheath dress hand painted to look as though it was made of tweed viewed under a microscope. There were knee-length coats with enough appliques and embellishments to satisfy even the most absurd thirst for sumptuous layering. It was dressing up done right, with nods to the Ottoman empire, China and India (or at least decadent materials and furs sourced from those exotic locales).

But what I found most remarkable about this collection is that even though it’s highly detailed (I’m talking to you, beaded floor-length gown), it maintains the simple and straightforward elegance that has made De la Renta’s clothing admired and sought after for decades. Was it a love letter to globalism? Was it an appeal to Michelle Obama to just wear one of his dresses already? Was it just a really, really great collection of superior clothes? If anything, the answer to that last question is yes.

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