For his latest collection, Oscar de la Renta’s footwear designer Daniel Lawler lucked out. “We just opened our new archival facility in Long Island City, which is where I started my research for resort ’17,” he said.
Along with creative director Peter Copping, Lawler delved into the late de la Renta’s impressive, meticulously cataloged archive. And while it doesn’t actually include many shoes, a relatively new area of expansion and import for the house, inspiration was aplenty.
“Of course we all know how much Oscar loved a floral,” said Lawler, noting that de la Renta’s ability to rework blooms in countless ways pushed him to explore a new approach as well. “I found a factory in Italy that just makes leather flowers with the greatest attention to detail.”
The result? Mini flora bouquets sprouting from pumps, slingbacks and new block heels for a new take on embellishment.
A modern approach to evening staples and introduction of new silhouettes gave the collection welcome breadth, which Lawler said was key given how critical resort is for the brand: “For us, we are present is so many markets and our customer is constantly traveling to different climates, so we really need to have something for everyone.”
Key examples included a chic slide, done in latticework leather for day and a crystal-covered version for nightfall. “We are known for our slipper mules, and this is a fresh update,” he said. And after spring ’16’s successful bejeweled espadrilles, a hit with retailers and staffers alike, this season he introduced a demi-wedge, studded in an array of stone. “It’s a good gauge for me what’s working when I see all the girls around the office wearing the same shoe,” he said with a laugh.
Another novelty came via a woven construction, a classic Italian technique that gave high pointed pumps both flexibility and breathability, too.
But the newsiest styles were also the most unexpected: chunky platform sandals in satin or trimmed in raffia, which were paired back to the collection’s midi-hemlines and even worn underneath evening gowns. Black-tie wedges? Indeed. And talk about a fashion feat.
Click through to see more highlight from the Resort ’17 collection.
To explore the entire collection, click through the gallery below.
Watch Daniel Lawler discuss resort trends and inspirations below.