Yesterday, the world lost a fashion visionary, avid patron of the arts, and a true old fashioned gentleman – Oscar de la Renta. Originally from the Dominican Republic, he studied painting in Madrid before gaining employment sketching dresses to send to clients of Balenciaga, who became de la Renta’s mentor. He soon started creating his own garments, getting commissioned in 1956 to make a dress for the daughter of the Spanish Ambassador. The dress ended up on the cover of Life Magazine.
A few years later, he actually had job offers from both Dior and Lanvin, and decided to take a position as Lanvin’s assistant. In 1963, he moved to Elizabeth Arden, designing fabulous looks that are now considered classics.
In the late 60’s Oscar de la Renta broke out on his own to design his own line. He showed at Paris Fashion Week and followed up with another Paris show for Balmain couture as the first Dominican designer to design for a French couture house. Quite the talented designer, Oscar de la Renta dressed the who’s who of society, designing for Sarah Jessica Parker, Nancy Reagan, Amal Alamuddin, Hilary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Garner, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Penelope Cruz, Sandra Bullock, and many more.
What an amazing career full of beauty. Tonight, I celebrate the life of Oscar de la Renta, reviewing just a few of my personal favorites of such a classic, talented designer: