The man who was responsible for some of the most stunning pieces on the catwalk and red carpet, Oscar de la Renta has died at his home in Kent, Connecticut, US, on Monday October 20.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Oscar left home aged 18 to study art in Madrid, Spain. He found his feet as an apprentice with designer Cristobal Balenciaga before working under Lanvin and Balmain. His name became internationally recognised after he dressed Jacqueline Kennedy in the 1960s and launched his own ready-to-wear label in New York, in 1965.
After successfully gaining his U.S. citizenship in 1969, Oscar became the first American to be a head designer at a French fashion house, as well as his own label.
From ladies who lunch to stars on the red carpet, Oscar took the fashion world by storm producing beautiful evening gowns and spectacular show stoppers. Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Adams, Oprah Winfrey were just a few style icons to grace the red carpet in one of de la Renta’s one-off pieces.
De la Renta won the America’s Council of Fashion Designers lifetime achievement award in 1990, as well as serving two terms as president on the board.
Though he was battling cancer for the past eight years this didn’t phase the King of designing, expanding his fashion house by 50%. Last year at a New York Fashion Talks event, Fern Mallis, Executive Director called him “The sultan of suave”. At the event Oscar spoke of his cancer, saying, “Yes I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.”
But the 82-year-old is going out on a high, with his latest coup being the beautiful ivory gown worn by lawyer Amal Alamuddin to actor George Clooney at their nuptials last month. The gown was designed by Oscar which forms part of his bridal fall 2015 collection.
In 2013 Oscar told The Telegraph: “Style begins by looking good naked, it’s a discipline. And if you don’t dress well every day, you lose the habit. It’s not about what you wear, but how you live your life.”