Yesterday the world lost one of fashions most iconic and loveable designers of the last century. Oscar de la Renta passed away aged 82 leaving a vibrant and fairy-tale legacy behind him. Known for his classic, feminine and All-American gowns that governed all eyes at fashion week, his bridal collections soon became just as popular, with many brides-to-be dreaming of walking down the isle in an Oscar de la Renta dress. The couturier was sought after by Hollywood actresses, women of wealth and even America’s first ladies – four of them to be precise. He worked tirelessly until the end, even designing Amal Clooneys highly anticipated wedding dress in Venice last month. Even earlier this year, Oscar recreated his entire spring presentation to raise money for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Centre, where each garment was walked down the runway by a patient or a survivor and their physicians. The evening raised over $1,000,000, plus a large donation from Oscar himself – he was a passionate and devoted philanthropist. By those who knew him, Oscar has frequently been described as warm and captivating, with an envious outlook on life and a humorous personality that would fill an entire ball room. No doubt, a great talent and irreplaceable fashion icon has been lost, but also a charming man filled with passion, whit and gratitude who gave the world beauty through design and soul through character.
Below are some of my favourite pieces from his ready to wear, bridal and children’s wear collections, along with some very wise words from Oscar himself.
“The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness.”
“It’s not about what you wear, but about how you live your life”
“Elegance is a discipline of life.”
“Now is the most exciting time in fashion. Women are controlling their destiny now, the consumer is more knowledgeable, and I have to be better every single day.”
“What women have achieved in the last 50 years, I wish men would have achieved in the last 100.”
“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”
“When I started, the woman went to the store to buy a dress. She saw it in pink and red, and then she remembered that the husband, who is probably going to pay for the dress, loves it in pink. So she buys the pink. Today, the same woman goes to the store and remembers the husband likes pink, and she buys the red.”
“I like light, colour, luminosity. I like things full of colour and vibrant.”
Oscar de la Renta, 1932 – 2014.