The fashion world just lost one of its biggest legends, the favourite designer of so many celebrities, fashionistas and even first ladies.
Oscar de la Renta died on the 21st of October at the age of 82 after losing a long battle with cancer. He will always be remembered as one of the pioneers of ready-to-wear, a hero of timeless feminine elegance and a perfect gentleman with an unrivalled sense of style.
“There is no one on earth who makes a woman feel more beautiful than Oscar de la Renta,” said Karlie Kloss after the latest – which turned out be the last – Oscar de la Renta fashion show this September. We think she just caught the essence of his genious. He always celebrated women’s beauty and created clothes which would make them feel even more beautiful. Carrie Bradshow called his work poetry in the last season of Sex and the City, and we couldn’t agree more.
De la Renta started his career with Cristobal Balenciaga in Spain and worked with Antonio del Castillo at Lanvin before moving to New York to take a job with Elizabeth Arden before launching his own label in 1965.
He was a big believer in ready-to-wear back when ready-to-wear was a novel concept. He’s been known to dress first ladies such as Jackie Kennedy, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. He was the go-to designer of many singers and actresses when choosing their red carpet looks. Recently he created the wedding gown for Amal Alamuddin for her Italy nuptials to George Clooney.
He always stuck to his conviction about how women should look – elegant, joyful, feminine – no matter how fashion changed. He was so passionate about fashion and understood the challange of the constantly changing nature of the industry. On being in business for over fifty years he recently said: “I still have the same passion. In fact, perhaps I’m wrong, I think I’m a much better designer than I was fifty years ago, because I’ve learned more. I have a much better sense of who my consumer is. Every single day is a learning process… Think of who my woman was then, and who she is now. When I first came to New York, a woman in a pair of pants would not be allowed into some restaurants here. Fashion keeps moving. You just have to keep aware of what’s going on.”
His last collection, the 2015 Spring /Summer collection we have written on this blog about, was shown in early September. It has everything his work was always about: it was charmingly feminine, unfailingly polished, and lush with color.
It always shakes the fashion world when we lose one of the incomparable talents.. How will life go on after Oscar de la Renta? Earlier this month, the house hired Peter Copping of Nina Ricci as creative director, but how will he be able to continue the footsteps of the creative mastermind of De la renta, only time will tell.
Credits: Getty Images.