Oscar de la Renta "believed in beauty, not for beauty’s sake, but because he understood that elevating the outside could help elevate the inside," writes Vanessa Friedman of the New York Times.
Timeline from nytimes.com (Edited)
1932: The year he was born...
1950s: Studied painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid, and then worked in the Madrid salon of Cristóbal Balenciaga as an illustrator for the clients
1960s: Hired by Antonio del Castillo as his assistant at Lanvin, began his tenure at Elizabeth Arden, and started designing his own line
1970s: Became president of the Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) of America, and debuted the Oscar fragrance
1980s: Became president of the CFDA for the second time, and given a lifetime achievement award by the CFDA
1990s: Became the first American fashion designer to show at Paris Fashion Week, worked for Balmain, and became a couture designer
2000s: Introduced his first ready-to-wear bridal collection, received Founders Award from the CFDA, presented the fall 2013 line with the help of John Galliano, announced Peter Copping, former Nina Ricci artistic director, as creative director of Oscar de la Renta
2014: Dies at 82 after a long battle with cancer.
Notice something from the timeline above. Oscar de la Renta, in every decade, had his moments of stardom and contributed to fashion in some way. We stumbled upon this article written by Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times, and we just thought that we had to share parts of it.
"Though most people, when they think of Oscar de la Renta, think of the first ladies he dressed (Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton) or the celebrities he clothed for the red carpet (Amy Adams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Taylor Swift) or the wedding gowns he designed (for Amal Clooney, Huma Abedin, Kate Bosworth), I think of two entirely different things.
I think, for example, of how before every show was supposed to start — a good half-hour before every show was even supposed to start, which is to say about 50 minutes before every other designer’s show would really start — he would be standing backstage, in a perfectly tailored pinstriped shirt and silk tie, pocket handkerchief flopping just so, waiting for the audience to show up: keeping to the schedule in real time as opposed to fashion time, because it was the correct thing to do.
He believed in hard work and the importance of appearance. He believed in beauty, not for beauty’s sake, but because he understood that elevating the outside could help elevate the inside; that confidence could be donned with a garment (just ask Oprah Winfrey, who practically glowed in his long-sleeved, cleavage-hinting navy silk gown as a co-chairwoman of the Met Ball in 2010, ending up on numerous best-dressed lists). He believed in balance, and the golden mean. He believed in lace and color and the leverage that came with a carefully chosen ruffle — but not too many ruffles. He believed, during the rise and fall of grunge and normcore and casual Friday, in staking his higher ground: being neither out nor in but, perhaps, above. He believed in the long game."
“A runway is spectacle. It’s only fashion when a woman puts it on. Being well dressed hasn't much to do with having good clothes. It’s a question of good balance and good common sense.”- Oscar de la Renta
Thank you Oscar de la Renta for showing us what fashion and women are all about. Rest in peace.