October 26th, 2014
The morning of Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 will forever be etched in my brain. It was the day that I along with the rest of the fashion world found out we had lost another fashion legend. On October 20th, 2014 the renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta passed away, losing his battled to cancer (diagnosed in 2006). Oscar has been one of my all time favorite designers since I could remember. The first designers name I actually could remember at a very young age. He drew me in with his beautiful Haute Coutour, Bridal and RTW collections season by season. What he articulated in his fashion, was so clear to me that when his collections walked down the runway I always knew it was his show as the first piece would turned the corner. That is a mark of a talented designer.
This Dominican born designer moved to Madrid at age 18 to study paintings to become a painter but he was quickly bitten by the fashion bug which lead him to his true calling as a fashion designer. Oscar had a profound understand of femininity in fashion. He played to his strengthen making pieces that celebrated the feminine soft beauty of a women yet somehow never down playing her strength but instead showing that her beauty is in part attributed to that strength. You have to be a confident woman to really bring forth the true intentions of Oscar’s designs. I credit some of that quality in his style to his some of his training in Spain, as his design often had remnants of Spanish culture. His designs were flattering and flirty and strong.
Oscar de la Renta’s talent was undeniable from the beginning. Quickly becoming a highly sought after designer he dressed socialites to First Ladies (such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton), to Hollywood stars (such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Penelope Cruz, Oprah Winfrey) and continued to do so for decades. From the start of his career there has probably never been a time that you didn’t hear the name of Oscar de la Renta on the red carpet as celebrities are asked the famous question “who are you wearing?” From start to finish Oscar’s long standing successful career has been an inspiration to many. Although I may now never fulfill my dream of one day personally meeting this fashion icon, he has been highly influential in my life. He has helped to inspire my love of fashion and has influenced my concept of what fashion is. He helped to shape my aesthetic within my own journey in fashion design and styling.
The loss of this fashion genius has hit me a lot harder than I thought it would. I will miss seeing his brilliance expressed in his designs as his art walked down the runway show after show. RIP Oscar de la Renta. You are a true fashion icon and your influence on the fashion world will never be forgotten. We will miss you true gentlemanly presence and your joyous smile pop up on the runway after every show.