Oscar de la Renta
Oscar said himself that “when a woman falls in love with something so much that she wants to wear it – it is at that point only that it becomes fashion”. He was, and will continue to be, an icon and creative genius in the world of women’s fashion. He saw the importance of not only making his wealthier client base feel amazing but his clothes could make any woman feel spectacular.
The Dominican born designer lost his battle to cancer on 20 October after a remarkable life and a hugely successful career. De la Renta worked at fashion houses including Balmain, Balenciaga and Lanvin, his talents later stretching even as far as a hotel development. A great philanthropist, he also supported countless charities and causes across the world.
Throughout each endeavour he was dedicated to making women feel as elegant as the gowns he created for them, with André Leon Talley noting “he always designed with the ultimate motivation that women must look and feel beautiful”. And it was this motivation that led him into his 2003 ready-to-wear collection; an international success.
His dresses have been worn by countless beautiful women, from Audrey Hepburn to Naomi Campbell, proving the timelessness of his designs; his fairytale silhouettes empowering and inspiring women across generations. That signature design of a bandeau complimented by beautiful full skirts came to define him as a designer; classic and delicate. His taste for the mythical and dazzling is what made his 2006 transition into bridal gowns seem like a natural progression.
He had the rare talent and ability to design dresses as romantic as the occasions for which they were worn, and his most recent triumph was the creation of Amal Alamuddin’s dress for her wedding to George Clooney. The stunning off-the-shoulder lace gown demonstrated how his talent and creativity as a designer never ceased to impress.
His funeral was attended on Monday 3 November by greats of the fashion world from Diane von Furstenberg to Anna Wintour. Saying goodbye to “the gentleman of fashion” Anna Wintour assures us in a Vogue tribute to her dear friend, “this is not the end of an era”. Someone that has made such a mark on the world of fashion will continue to live on not simply through his own designs, but also in the gowns of each new designer motivated by his work. Most importantly by the women across the world dressing each day inspired by his creations. It is through this that the late great Oscar de la Renta will continue to flourish.