Reflecting on the life of an iconic fashion figure, Oscar De La Renta

Earlier this week the fashion world sadly lost one of its most iconic talents. On Monday at the age of 82, the Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta, passed away after complications caused by cancer.

Oscar de la Renta1

Born in Santo Domingo in 1932, de la Renta became one of the most renowned fashion designers in the world. In 1950 he left his home country to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid. This was just the beginning for de la Renta, whose designs reached the likes of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and most recently Amal Clooney at her wedding to George Clooney.

Many agree that the moment that de la Renta first tasted success was in 1956, when Francesca Lodge, the wife of the United States ambassador to Spain commissioned one of his designs for their daughter. This dress eventually made the cover of Life magazine. His career took a dramatic turn upwards when in 1991 he became the first American designer to show his collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Oscar de la Renta, Penelope Cruz1

His career was one of particular success, having started his designing days working for Balenciaga, Lanvin and Balmain, and going on to create his own hugely popular label in the late 1960s. He was famous for his floral patterns and his ability to tailor an outfit perfectly, which made him a highly sought after designer amongst the rich and famous. One of his most anticipated collections, his first ready-to-wear bridal collection, was released in 2006. He also developed a particular flair for designing outfits for America’s first ladies which ultimately made him a household name.

Oscar de la Renta, bridal collection3

A lengthy feud between the current first lady, Michelle Obama, and de la Renta was recently brought to an end after Obama finally wore one of de la Renta’s designs at an event in Washington just two weeks before he died.

Oscar de la Renta, dress worn by Michelle Obama2

Throughout his lifetime de la Renta was bestowed with numerous awards, one being the Council of Fashion Designers Designer of the Year Award in 2000.

Although this legendary designer is no longer with us, his timeless designs will forever remain symbolic of his great contribution to modern fashion and his significant talent. Earlier this year Peter Copping was announced as the new creative director of Oscar de la Renta and will continue to develop the label’s sought after collections.

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