Red carpets everywhere will sparkle a little less with the sad news that fashion icon Oscar de la Renta has passed away, aged 82.
Known for his glamorous evening creations, the fashion superstar was beloved of movie stars such as Penelope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker and Amy Adams for his frothy and feminine designs.
He was also a huge favourite of First Ladies, creating many memorable looks for Jackie Onassis; while both Laura Bush and Hilary Clinton wore his creations to their inaugural balls. Michelle Obama was also a fan and of course de la Renta hit the headlines most recently with his design for Amal Clooney’s lacy wedding dress.
Vogue editor, Alexandra Shulman, summed up his talent and sizeable legacy beautifully on Vogue.co.uk, writing, “Of all the designers in the world, Oscar de la Renta was the most reliable at designing clothes that made you feel beautiful.”
“He stuck to his conviction about how women should look – elegant, joyful, feminine – no matter how fashion changed, but his designs never felt old or hackneyed. If you wore one of Oscar’s dresses you felt you looked your best, which is one of the reasons that he was so often a first choice for ball gowns, weddings and public appearances throughout the world.”
De la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic but left to study art in Spain. Fashion captured him though when the wife of the US Ambassador saw some of his drawings and asked him to design a dress for her daughter. An apprenticeship with the legendary Cristobal Balenciaga followed, before a move to France to work for Lanvin. By 1965, he had launched his own label in New York.
So with Oscar de la Renta gone who will become the new favourite for the showstopper dress? The choices are beginning to run out a little. While we still have the likes of Giorgio Armani or Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, (to name just a couple), the elegance is never going to run dry. However, many of the larger than life, ‘gentlemen’ of fashion such as Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent are also gone.
Maybe it’s time for some new names to stake their claims to influencing Hollywood glamour?