Poppy Trivedi looks back at the achievements of Oscar de la Renta
On Monday night, US fashion designer Oscar de la Renta tragically passed at age 82, following a 10 year battle with cancer. Since most of us were not fortunate enough to know him personally, we must remember him for his achievements in the world of fashion. From his gowns being worn on the red carpet, to dressing so many of America’s first ladies, the Dominican born designer has been very influential during his career and shall be extremely missed by the fashion world.
His most recent project was to design the wedding dress of Amal Clooney, who married George Clooney earlier this month.
Yes that’s right, whilst many of us simply lusted with jealousy over her, he created the dress that walked down the aisle as so many of us have dreamed of doing. Not only was the dress stunningly beautiful with exquisite French lace detail, but Vogue also revealed that the train was made out of so much fabric that it was too heavy for the young flower girl to lift. But fear not, the other day he unveiled a dress almost identical to Amal’s as part of his bridal autumn 2015 collection. Time to blow our student loans I reckon.
He was a favourite designer of Audrey Hepburn, and his place on the Hollywood scene didn’t end there.
Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz and Nicole Kidman all having chosen at least one of his spectacular gowns for their red carpet appearances.
Sarah Jessica Parker wears an Oscar de la Renta dress in season six of Sex and the City, and who doesn’t envy that.
Plus in the same season Carrie’s boyfriend of the time speaks of his friendship with “Oscar” before buying her an Oscar de la Renta dress. If being mentioned in Sex and the City doesn’t make you the epitome of cool, I don’t know what does.
Jennifer Lawrence wore one of his dresses just the other day to Elle’s 21st Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.
It may have been one of his more understated dresses, but it was stunning and worn beautifully nonetheless.
And we are back to SJP.
To the 2014 Met Gala, she wore a custom made Oscar de la Renta dress which literally had his signature on it. Parker asked de la Renta to write his name across the back of her black and white dress in red embroidery.
In Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Steep) alludes to Oscar de la Renta in the speech of all speeches to Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway).
When explaining how Andy’s sweater is a product of the fashion world she states, “You’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns,” (although this fact has been revealed to be slightly fictitious). Nevertheless watch the speech, love it, and think how great it would be to have your name in it.
In June 2003, at the CFDA Awards, Hillary Clinton presented Oscar de la Renta with the Eleanor Lambert Founder’s Award.
She stated that it was due to him being an “American Icon” and that “his style and personality have permeated our culture and shaped the industry for decades”. Which, in my opinion, is so so true.
One of Britain’s favourite female actors, Emma Watson, wore an Oscar de la Renta dress for the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two in Trafalgar Square.
Imagine your design being worn to the movie premier of one of the biggest film series of our lifetime, for the final film, by the leading actress. Sounds like magic.
He has dressed so many of the first ladies. So many.
Starting with Jackie Kennedy, through Nancy Regan and Hillary Clinton, and finishing with Michelle Obama, his designs have wandered the white house on countless occasions.
Because look how wonderful his designs are!
Featured image credit: Matti Hillig