Designer to the stars Oscar De La Renta dies

OscarDeLaRentaWithModelsSept2014AP_large

 

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, a favourite of socialites and Hollywood stars, has died.

De la Renta, 82, shaped the wardrobe of socialites and Hollywood stars for more than 40 years.

He died at his home in Connecticut surrounded by family and friends and “more than a few dogs”, his stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolen and her husband Alex Bolen said.

“While our hearts are broken by the idea of life without Oscar, he is still very much with us. Oscar’s hard work, his intelligence and his love of life are at the heart of our company,” their statement said.

“All that we have done, and all that we will do, is informed by his values and his spirit. Through Oscar’s example we know the way forward. We will make Oscar very proud of us by continuing in an even stronger way the work that Oscar loved so much.”

The late 60s and early 70s were a defining moment in US fashion as New York-based designers finally carved a look of their own that was taken seriously by Europeans.

De la Renta and his peers, including the late Bill Blass, Roy Halston and Geoffrey Beene, defined American style – and their influence is still spotted today.

De la Renta’s speciality was evening wear, though he also was known for chic daytime suits favoured by the women who would gather at the Four Seasons or Le Cirque at lunchtime. His signature looks were voluminous skirts, exquisite embroideries and rich colours.

Most recently, Amal Alamuddin wore a de la Renta-designed wedding dress when she married George Clooney.

Mrs Bush wore an icy blue gown by de la Renta to the 2005 inaugural ball and Hillary Clinton wore a gold de la Renta to the 1997 ball. On the red carpet at the Academy Awards, Penelope Cruz and Sandra Bullock were among the celebrities to don his feminine and opulent gowns.

His clothes were even woven into episodes of Sex And The City with style icon character Carrie Bradshaw dropping his name – and comparing his designs to poetry.