PHOTOS: A Romantic Evening With Oscar de la Renta

Justin Timberlake (yes, that Justin Timberlake) made the most cogent statement we’ve heard all week at Oscar de la Renta‘s spring runway show Tuesday evening, where he told us, “When you come to see Oscar’s show, you’re looking for romance.” And no one in the audience had to look very far for that at all.

Because while you can ascribe a lot of adjectives to this collection (comprehensive, outlandish, colorful and intensely detailed being just a handful of the possibilities), the one thing no one can debate is that it was romantic. It had a sense of completion and wonder that none of the shows we’ve seen this week have been able to pull off. And that’s probably because Oscar wasn’t just talking to one kind of woman; he was talking to all of them.

To wit: The first look that came down the runway was a gold gown with a skirt so full it actually brushed the ankles of the people in the front row (which, in addition to Timberlake, included Barbara Walters, Ashley Olsen, Valentino and Giancarlo Giametti, Nicki Minaj and a woman we think was Nancy Kissinger). It was followed by a similarly voluminous gown in bright green — and then a red one, all three topped with lace shirts or bodices that put a chink in the formality of those full skirts.

After them came waves of concepts executed with compelling detail — first more practical dresses and shirts either crocheted or made of lace, paired with simply cut pants or hand embroidered skirts. There were suits (sue us for saying so, but we thought, “This is what Chanel would have looked like if Coco had believed in multicolor”) shown with gauzy bow ties, and then there were patterned or embroidered sheath dresses cinched at the waist with geometric belts. The pants (which were few; this is Oscar, after all) were either very trim or as wide as wide-legged gets. Little tassles that covered two particularly good cocktail dresses made for an interesting mix of texture and pattern. And so did the copious amounts of ostrich feathers on everything from evening gowns to cocktail dresses to what will surely be very expensive tank tops.

We were perplexed ever-so-slightly by the presence of a rather sumptuous fox fur jacket — there were other fur pieces, too, none of which looked as out of place in a spring collection as this one — but we guess they were a part of the romance, too. We hear there are going to be some chilly days in April.

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