Remembering Oscar De La Renta

Saturday, November 29, 2014

On the 20th October 2014 one of the fashion greats of the world, Oscar de la Renta, passed at the age of 82 in his home in Connecticut. He was one of the most renowned, established, most-loved, celebrated and highly respected fashion designers in the entire world, and had a loyal following of celebrities and fans alike.


Oscar De La Renta was born Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo on the 22nd July 1932 in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, and was often regarded as an unofficial ambassador of the country. He designed many elegant, beautiful, glamourous feminine and divine dresses and bridal wear. His fashion house has dressed many public figures, from film stars to royalty, such as Jacequline Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman. He even designed Amal Alamuddin's wedding dress.

Oscar De La Renta started out drawing clothes while studying painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. He would often sketch clothing pieces for newspapers and fashion houses. His work was spotted by Francesca Lodge, the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain John David Lodge and she commissioned De La Renta to design a gown for her daughter. The dress De La Renta designed appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and his career in fashion took of from there. He become more interested in fashion design and continued to sketch for fashion houses, and this led to an apprenticeship with Spain's most renowned couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga. After being mentored, Oscar De La Renta worked as a couture assistant at Lanvin in Paris.

In 1963 De La Renta went on to work for beauty chain Arden for two years in New York, then he went to work for Jane Derby, an American fashion house. When Derby died in 1965, he took over the label. In 1977 he launched his own fragrance. From 1993 to 2002, De La Renta designed a haute couture collection for French couture house Balmain. In 2001 he launched an accessories line.


For his contribution to fashion, Oscar De La Renta won many awards and accolades, and received international recognition for his work. For example, he won CFDA's (Council of Fashion Designers of America) American Fashion Critics Award twice, a prestigious award, and he received the Council of Fashion Designers Designer of the Year Award n 2000 and in 2007. He was listed on the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1973.

Oscar De La Renta's designers have been work by many women around the world, especially since 2003 when international wholesale in his dresses grew significantly. To this day, De La Renta's designs are available in his retail stores, online and with select wholesale partners worldwide.

Even though he tragically passed away a while ago, Oscar De La Renta will always be an influential, powerful and important icon in fashion.

Famous quotes by Oscar De La Renta
Fashion is about dressing according to what's fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”

I design clothes for women to wear. I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes.”

There is no sound more feminine than a woman in a taffeta dress.”

I've lived every day to the fullest, and I've had a marvelous time. I've tried to be nice to the people I care about, and ignore the ones I don't. I enjoy what I've done.”

The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness.”

I don't really know how to do casual clothes.”

Fashion is about the present and immediate future. I think in terms of now.” “Being well dressed hasn't much to do with having good clothes. It's a question of good balance and good common sense.”

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