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Last week Tuesday morning I woke up to the very sad news of the passing of one of the greatest designers who ever lived; Oscar de la Renta. He died from complications of cancer. Mr de la Renta battled cancer for eight years. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
The words that have been used to describe the designer, in tribute, include; legend, kind, loving, passionate, one of a kind, talented…the list goes on. Mr de la Renta was all of those things and more. I never knew him personally, never met him, but I knew his clothes, loved his designs, in that way, I feel as if I knew him. Oscar de la Renta; the passionate gent with a zest for life, who celebrated the good things, and loved to make a woman look and feel her most beautiful; when you see an Oscar collection you see the completion of it; the woman and the clothes. He had a knack for knowing just what women want when it comes to clothes, the way we want to look, feel, and there was a certain love felt through his clothes, the love that went into its creation. He was a master at that. I would imagine that is how he lived his life, full of passion and love; giving and receiving.
Born Oscar Arístides Renta Fiallo, in the Domincan Republic, his rise to Iconic American designer started in Europe after hopping on a boat from home at the age of eighteen to the continent, to study to become a painter but he soon found his passions rooted in fashion. He worked for designers, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Elizabeth Arden, etc. In creating his own line, he perfected a skill that married ready-to-wear and couture aesthetic, and transformed it into the everyday wardrobe bathed in sophistication. With his particular eye for romance and fluidity, attention to detail and fit, he helped women create wardrobes of wonders. From first ladies, to pop stars, rock stars, and rappers, a woman in her 20s, her mother in her 50s, her grandmother in her 70s… Oscar de la Renta transcended generations, and gave American fashion a place at the table. He designed clothes ingrained with a certain air of simplicity and utter class, and it was one of the sweetest love stories to behold.
He was a champion of American fashion, embraced diversity, celebrated femininity, and removed the boundaries that can often confine us in. He invited us to fall in love with life through his clothes, and in so doing, encouraged us to enjoy the moments, celebrate ourselves and make no apologies for it.
The world, not just fashion, lost a great one. Rest in Peace, Oscar de la Renta.