Oscar de la Renta FW18 collection is inspired by the “enchanted forest” tapestries and the Elizabethan era

This season’s collection had its roots in the De la Renta archive. If it’s a conservative approach at a moment when experimentation is paying off elsewhere—see Kim and Garcia’s other label, the buzzy Monse—so be it. De la Renta had a successful business for the decades that he did because he loved making women look beautiful, not directional or edgy.

At its base, this was a pretty collection, abloom with flower prints and embroideries, and featuring rich textures from lustrous velvet to nubby raw silk. It was inspired, the designers said, by memories of a trip they took with Oscar to The Cloisters to see—or rather hear—a Janet Cardiff sound installation.

That led them to “enchanted forest” tapestries and the Elizabethan era, which they handled lightly and rightly, save for some quilting here and there and a few hyperbolic bows. The collection’s strength was its eveningwear, as it often was De la Renta’s. Celebrity stylists will be lining up for the dress with the black velvet bodice and billowing printed Chine skirt.