Relocations & Transformations:

L'UOMO Is Reborn As Michael
On West 4th & Adds Womens

New Additions:

Miu Miu Takes A Mansion On 57th

Cintra Wilson Goes Shopping:

Luxe Wins Out Edition

Oscar600When we saw that this week's critical shopper, Cintra Wilson, was visiting the Oscar de la Renta boutique on Madison Avenue in tomorrow's Thursday Styles, we immediately flashed back to last year when, early in her CS tenure, La Cintra laid into Valentino in a way we thought might have been a bit unfair. Was Oscar in for the same anti-establishment treatment?
Perhaps a year ad a half of store reviews have had their effect, because a new appreciation for the craftsmanship that Oscar and his ilk represent seems to have taken hold.
Cintra even admits that she entered the project with her prejudices intact, was quickly seduced by the dark rich side.

I was forced to abandon this craven and faulty reasoning within about five minutes of stepping inside the boutique. I felt as if I wasn’t in a clothing store so much as a kind of museum-cum-petting zoo, where ordinary people are miraculously allowed to walk straight up to the racks and fondle hugely expensive and beautiful garments without even having to remove their shoes and belt, wait through a security line, surrender electronic devices or endure a 200-kilovolt warning Taser.

And therein lies the genius of Oscar. You think it's for prissy old ladies until you see something that's just so damn beautiful and exquisitely made, which doesn't take very long. In the end, Cintra is won over in theory, if not in actual practice since his main collection these days is generally prohibitively expensive for all but a small segment of the population from which he draws his customers.

I was really impressed by a standard piece one sees at charity functions for the square and elderly: a sequined, Republican banquet-wife bolero jacket. I usually find them ghastly, but Oscar de la Renta’s had soul: layered stacks of black and blood-red sequins, fused with cross-hatched black and red stitching into a compellingly rich pattern somewhat dizzying in its artistry. It was entirely counterintuitive, but this Nancy Reagan garment looked downright hardcore: primitive, even a little brutal.

And so we now find La Cintra with a somewhat more open mind, but no less skillful at turning a phrase. Of course, we don't want her to mellow out too much. Quick, somebody send her to Ed Hardy or True Religion so she can keeps those knives sharp.
Critical Shopper | Oscar de la Renta: Play Along, if You Dare By Cintra Wilson (NYTimes)
Oscar de la Renta 772 Madison Avenue at 66th Street, Upper East Side
Previously: Cintra Wilson Goes Shopping: Tell Us Something We Don't Know Edition


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