Oscar de la Renta was born in a Golden Age for fashion, glamour and women who appreciated their bodies and dressed according to their love for themselves. He was born in 1932 and died yesterday, 20th of October 2014. Many will say it’s a black day for fashion but seeing his collections throughout the years and his interviews, I think Mr. Oscar de la Renta would like us to smile and remember him through the beautiful things he created, through his own world of creation.
Here’s the 8 best looks you should never forget and the 11 things that Oscar de la Renta left as his legacy. He was a master of the 20’s and 30’s glamour and being lucky enough to be born in those times, he never forgot to use his childhood as an imprint on everything he created.
Some designers got to play with clothes since the early days. He started as a painter in Madrid so his world consisted of colors, shades and lights. He was an apprentice at Balenciaga, he moved to Lanvin, Arden and Balmain and then started creating his own empire: Oscar de la Renta.
He was the gardener of the fashion world, he was in loved with creating gowns that looked like flowers – some like the actual flower, others like a stem or a root, De La Renta always used these motifs in his work and he created, from the ’60s until now one of the most gardens of dresses there ever was.
I picked 8 looks and 11 quotes by Oscar de la Renta that might sum up the things you should never forget about his work and his life.
“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”
RED – no one ever could rock the passionate and strawberry filled red like Oscar de la Renta. He didn’t used it that often but when he did, it felt like he poured so much passion and so much intensity. It’s like the strongest and most vibrant red there is, like a flamenco song that leaves a tear in your eye at the end of it.
“I like light, color, luminosity. I like things full of color and vibrant.”
EMERALD GREEN – it’s one of the toughest colors used in fashion and making a dress in vibrant green it seems almost impossible. He managed to find shades of emerald green, pieces of the Emerald City.
“Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors.”
20’s & 30’s dresses – we’re all inspired by the period we were born in but in his case, he managed to bring the 20’s and 30’s into his collections long before The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbey brought that fashion back to mainstream.
“The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness.”
Gowns – he’s known as the king of the red carpet and the one prefered amongst the first ladies in the US for big ceremonies and spectacular gowns fit for any soiree that requires it
“I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes.”
Floral motifs – One thing is for sure: he knew how to make a woman look like a flower and that flower look like it’s been picked out of the royal gardens.
“There is always an emotional element to anything that you make.”
Ruffles – this is, probably, the easiest way to recognise one of his dresses. Latin ruffles and the inspiration of night and nights of listening to flamenco and dominican music.
“I have this complex that if I walk into a place wearing a colorful shirt someone will stop me and say, ‘I’m sorry, but the Latin band comes through the other door.”
Bridal dresses – The transition from a girl to a woman is made with a wedding gown and Oscar de la Renta is well famous for making every girl want to be dressed in one of his fairytale-like creations. Every little girl’s dream is to be a princess and have a wedding just like Cinderella. Oscar de la Renta knew how to make that dream come true… but with a big expense.
“I always say: To be well dressed you must be well naked.”
Ready to wear – Oscar’s secret to being able to stay involved into the fashion world so many years is the fact that he understood women and their needs. He understood that people actually need to wear your clothes. So his ready-to-wear line was as good as his other gowns or dresses and he knew how to keep the feminine side to a woman in a suit.
“I was surrounded by sisters. My childhood was all women.”
The great thing about fashion is that it always looks forward.
RIP Oscar de la Renta, the gardener of fashion