I have sad news. One of my very favorite designers died yesterday. At the age of 82, Oscar de la Renta died peacefully in his home with his family, friends and hand full of dogs. Oscar grew up in the Dominican Republic and at 18 he went to study painting in Spain. He quickly became interested in the world of fashion design and began sketching for Spanish fashion houses, which soon led to an apprenticeship with Spain's most renowned couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga. He considers Cristóbal Balenciaga his mentor. Later, Oscar left Spain to join Antonio del Castillo as a couture assistant at Lanvin in Paris. In 1963, Oscar turned to Diana Vreeland, the editor-in-chief of Vogue for advice, saying that what he really wanted was to "get into ready to wear, because that's where the money is". Diana told him to go to Arden instead. Oscar proceeded to work for Arden for two years before he in 1965 went to work for Jane Derby and launched his own label. When Derby died in August 1965, Oscar took over the label. From 1993 to 2002, Oscar designed the haute couture collection for the house of Balmain, becoming the first Dominican to design for a French couture house. In 2006, the Oscar de la Renta label diversified into bridal wear.
In 1977, Oscar launched his fragrance, OSCAR, followed by an accessories line in 2001 and a home wares line in 2002. The new business venture included 100 home furnishings for Century Furniture featuring dining tables, upholstered chairs, and couches. In 2004, he added a less expensive line of clothing called O Oscar. He said he wanted to attract new customers whom he could not reach before, in other words, middle class people. In 2006, he designed Tortuga Bay, a boutique hotel at PUNTACANA Resort and Club. Tortuga Bay is a Leading Small Hotel of the World and a member of Virtuoso.
He married twice — to Françoise de Langlade in 1967 and Annette Engelhard in 1989 — and had stepchildren and an adopted son.
What an incredible man and designer he was. He loved women and loved to dress women. He knew how to take the shape of our bodies and make fashion from it. He grew up with 6 sisters so he highly respected women and felt very inspired by them. When I was getting married, I looked at Oscar's bridal line because it is just so gorgeous. I will miss him deeply and I know the rest of the world will too. Here are a few of my favorite looks he designed.
'Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style.' went on display at the George W. Bush Library and Museum in July in Dallas. The ensembles were among more than 60 featured of Oscar's career. If you get a chance to go see it, you must.
His most recent headline was when he was announced as the designer who would be making Amal Alamuddin, or formal known as Mrs. George Clooney, wedding dress.
If you didn't know, he became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers to dress Jacqueline Kennedy. Whom to me, is one of the most iconic women in the world.
Oh and Diary...I am also so upset that my Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese Lay's chips did NOT win. Wasabi Ginger won. How dare they!!!!! Now how else am I going to get that wonderful delicious chip I so crave?!
Love, Sad Me