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Latex and leather: the de la Renta runway

Associated Press Modified: September 12, 2012 at 8:46 am •  Published: September 12, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Latex and leather: That's what keeps Oscar de la Renta modern while maintaining his position as the godfather of uptown style.

On his New York Fashion Week runway, presented Tuesday evening, de la Renta equally paid homage to the decorative and frothy styles that have been his hallmark for more than four decades as well as the new technologies that keep fashion ahead of the pop culture curve.

One of the most remarkable looks was a two-piece dress made of ivory silk faille and with a feminine peplum around the hips that also featured a top layer of a latex flower appliques that could have been the icing on the most delicious cake.

Also, he opened the show with a red latex tank top worn with a classic and chic navy blazer and ivory pencil skirt.

Leather has been a staple of this round of previews for editors, stylists and retailers of the most popular fashions of next season, but veteran de la Renta took the risk with latex, which actually seemed even lighter and more supple than the buttery leathers the crowd has seen. The jury is out if the models felt as luxe.

De la Renta's outfits certainly courted the crowd of socialites, celebrities and power brokers that typically favor his label. Not many others can justify a super special-occasion, shocking-pink embroidered gown that boasted turquoise tassel embroidery, resin flowers, pave crystals and jeweled neckline.

His customer also doesn't worry about stepping out in (or the cleaning bill for) an ivory-colored vest-and-pant suit with leather macrame or an ivory-colored tulle macrame jacket worn with an ivory pencil skirt.

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