Oscar de la Renta

Best Cocktail Dresses, March 2007

Oscar de la Renta, who trained to be a painter, instead became a designer known for clothes that look like a series of brush strokes. His new store on Melrose Place is filled with opulent takes on classics worn by doyennes (Betsy Bloomingdale) and celebutantes (Mary-Kate Olsen). The dresses—in crepe de chine and eyelet linen, some with embroidered hemlines—are elegant enough for after five but devoid of promlike formality.