New York socialite stalwart and king of the red carpet Oscar de la Renta opened his first London boutique just a few weeks ago on Mount Street in London's Mayfair – where his neighbours include Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga. But with De la Renta's high-profile come high prices and most fans of his work could afford little more than a window-shopping excursion to that exclusive store. So news that The Outnet, the discount sister website to Net-a-porter, will be launching a cut-price collection from the designer will surely send the hearts of aspiring Upper East-siders racing.
This year sees De la Renta, 80, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the beginning of his design career, and this collection of ready-to-wear items inspired by classic silhouettes and fabrics from the archives is surely just the beginning of the celebrations. Modelled for the Outnet by Olivia Palermo, who embodies the classically elegant and aspirational aesthetic of the label, the 24-piece collection includes de la Renta signatures such as rich jewel colours, feminine ruffles and lace, plus floral and leopard prints. "The Outnet has stocked Oscar de la Renta since launching in April 2009," says Stephanie Phair, the site's managing director. "Our customers love this iconic brand for its statement prints, flattering silhouettes and stunning accessories. The floral print dress from this collection will no doubt be a fast seller because its silhouette is quintessentially Oscar."
The lady-like launch collection includes full skirts and Fifties-inspired dresses, wide-leg trousers and blouses, as well as some outerwear and accessories, wrought in neutral hues and vibrant brights. Revisiting memorable catwalk pieces from De la Renta's archive, the collection which has also had new life breathed into it thanks to the use of new fabrics and updated shapes is sure to be in high demand, not least for the relative affordability of the pieces. Only available online, customers fearing the crashed servers and blue screens of doom of other online sites on big collaboration launch days in the past should rest assured: "We prepare as much as we can to ensure that everything runs smoothly," states Phair. "Our customer care team is contactable 24 hours a day, seven days a week via telephone, email and live chat to help with any issues customers have."