Backstage Diary: Oscar de la Renta Spring 2013 New York Fashion Week

The finale of my special report from New York Fashion Week includes an exclusive backstage report from the Oscar de la Renta Spring 2013 show. Last week Tuesday, I chatted with the designer, mingled with models Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls and interviewed Revlon’s Gucci Westman for the third time.

Amazing accessories, beautiful ball-gowns, colored hair extensions and rows of shoes filled the backstage area. When asked what inspired his latest collection Mr. de la Renta coolly said, “Woman. The woman who can afford my designs.”

For the make-up, the ever-talented Gucci Westman wanted something bright and matte on the lips to match the simple contour on the face and complement the hotly colored hair extensions that models sported in pink, green, yellow and blue. When I asked de la Renta to share the tips he gave to Westman he said, “Make the girls look their very best—soft, feminine, very beautiful. Gucci is a great professional and knows what she’s doing.”

And indeed she did. “A little bit of Holly Golightly with a modern and punky twist,” she said. “The Oscar de la Renta girl is expensive and gorgeous. She always has to look good.”

On the accessories table were brightly colored floral pieces, charming earrings and crystal-encrusted brooches. The shoes were a mixture of heels, sandals and perforated peep-toe booties, all by the designer. And then there were the clothes. Colorful stock in organza, silk and tweed filled the racks, each look labeled for a model along with swatches of fabric and pictures from previous fittings.

Live fittings began about two hours before the show. As the models stripped unabashedly in front of dozens of people, our cameras were asked not to shoot. Once suited in their gowns, suits and dresses, however, we were given free reign to capture the final moments before the show.

As Oscar de la Renta looked on, making final comments and adjustments, I ventured to the other side of the room where the show was about to take place. There members of the de la Renta team were live-tweeting and pinning backstage happenings as press began filing in for pre-show interviews.

When I asked Mr. de la Renta if he had a favorite piece he instantly replied, “All of them. All of them are my favorite, or I wouldn’t be showing any.”

Photography by Sophie Elgort

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