Monday, October 27, 2014

Oscar de la Renta

“I really hate nostalgia. I don’t look at the world today and say, Oh, what a pity there are no Babe Paleys around. That’s not how to live your life. And the only manners I am interested in are the manners of the heart.” Oscar de la Renta

Those are the words of a man who lived in the present, a man who knew how to be happy, and what to do to get there. He lived a life of success and happiness, none of which fell short of extremely hard work, and a lot of talent. 

When Oscar de la Renta was studying painting in Madrid he found his passion for fashion design. He started doing his apprenticeship wish Cristobal Balenciaga, Spain's most renowned couturier. While visiting Paris, he got hired for his first fashion job that lasted 2 years, and he then moved to New York and joined the design house of Elizabeth Arden. In 1965, he started his own RTW label.  Just like a fairy tale out of a story book, he married Francoise de Langlade, editor-in-cheif of French Vogue. She introduced him to some of the most influential fashion personnel in the industry, as well as the rich and famous. His looks soon became synonymous with casual luxury, and women could not get enough of modern and romantic looks. When his wife died in 1983, Oscar de la Renta was devastated. This tragic loss led him to adopt a child from his native country, and he named him Moises de la Renta. He remarried in 1990 to Annette Engelhard Reed, a socialite and philanthropist. Oscar de la Renta was known for knowing, women's body's, what they wanted to wear, and how to dress them, his silhouettes were flattering and feminine. He dressed amazing women like Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. Oscar de la Renta's passion for the arts carried out through his career by not only designing some of the most beautiful gowns to ever sweep the runways, but also by being on the board of the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and WNET. In 2002, he ventured into a new area of the arts, designing furniture. In 2004, Oscar risked everything by adding a less expensive line of clothing called O Oscar, to attract a new market that he could not before reach. In 2006 he launched his bridal collection, which gave brides dreams of saying "I do" in a Oscar de la Renta gown. In 2012, he launched his children's wear line and instilled a high end, playful and old fashion feeling to even a peacoat. Oscar died last week, October 20, 2014 after fighting cancer for over a decade.

1956 Beatrice Lodge wore a gown designed by Oscar de la Renta 
Oscar de la Renta's most recent SS 2015 line

Oscar de la Renta has always kept in mind what is best for the consumer, the feminine lady, displaying a look of elegance and grace, where romantics meet the modern working women and socialites no longer exist. Oscar knew how women wanted to dress, and how they wanted to feel when pulling outfits together. He understood the art and romance behind a great garment, and that has always transcended into his designs. He will always be a great artist, designer and gentleman, missed and adored by all the lives he touched.

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