A Tribute to Oscar De La Renta

I was saddened to hear that fashion legend Oscar de la Renta passed away yesterday, October 20, 2014 in his home in Connecticut.  When I first heard the news, I thought, “Was he sick”?  He was only 82 and seemed unstoppable having most recently designed the classically beautiful wedding dress worn by Amal Alamuddin Clooney.  His energy and passion for fashion kept him strong despite the fact that he had actually been battling cancer since 2005.De la Renta, born in the Dominican Republic on July 22, 1932, grew up with six sisters!  I think that definitely helps explain his sensitivity and understanding of what helps a woman feel confident.   With a passion for culture, De la Renta attended college in Spain where he studied art.  While studying and working in Europe, De la Renta had the fortune of serving under Cristobal Balenciaga and was offered a job by Christian Dior but turned it down to work for Lanvin.  Apparently Lanvin pays more.

While De la Renta has designed fashion masterpieces since the 1950s, it was not until 1991 that he officially launched his fashion house.  One of the things I love about De la Renta is the fact that he never tried to make a scene or draw attention to himself like other designers who shall remain nameless.  His art pieces did the talking for him.  In fact, De la Renta once said, “I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes.”

As a result of his simple and straightforward mission, he designed gowns for countless Hollywood starlets, First Ladies, and even members of various international royal families.  As an intern for Mrs. Bush in 2008, I fondly remember looking at Mrs. Bush’s schedule for the day and seeing special fittings by Oscar de la Renta.  His looks were classic, simple, and elegant.

Oscar de la Renta defines style like no other: “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”

Today I would like to honor the fashion legend by sharing some of my favorite Oscar de la Renta pieces.

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