Thursday, October 23, 2014

Oscar de la Renta

At a time when dress designers and editors and the like are being worshiped as rock stars, one man stands alone.  Yes, he designed gorgeous clothing.

Born in Dominican Republic he left his homeland for Spain at age 10 and came to the US in the 1950's.  Bravely, he went on his own learning his way.

Love the NYT article juiciest bits:  He offered fashion editors a three way mirror to check themselves out in their mini skirts!  His dogs greeting guests at his hacienda in the Dominican welcoming them.  Loved a good joke and some gossip for himself.  Had a vegetable garden in Kent, Ct., where he chose to live out his last days.  Played dominoes with the staff at his compound in Punta Cana.  To win. Was foster father to many orphans in the Dominican Republic.  Worked for the top fashion houses in Europe and the US before starting his own House.  Famously frumpy Hillary Clinton referred to Oscar as his lifetime work in progress.  Last but not least on this list, he designed Amal's wedding dress.  What a nice ending to a spectacular life.  Both wives were as lovely inside as he himself.

Better yet, his quote says it all:
“Never, ever confuse what happens on a runway with fashion,” Mr. de la Renta once said. “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.”  Well said.

And here, from a NYT article are some of his best quotes.  Love his clarity and simplicity, although I'm sure he was a very complicated man.


Oscar de la Renta, the famed designer who died at age 82 on Monday, was known for more than just creating legendary gowns. The fashion icon also made an impact with his words of wisdom about fashion, style, women and what it really all meant. Here are some of his best:
I design clothes for women to wear. I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes.”
Walk like you have three men walking behind you.”
Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”
There is no sound more feminine than a woman in a taffeta dress.”
I’ve lived every day to the fullest, and I’ve had a marvelous time. I’ve tried to be nice to the people I care about, and ignore the ones I don’t. I enjoy what I’ve done.”
The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness.”
Fashion is about the present and the immediate future. I think in terms of now.”
Being well dressed hasn’t much to do with having good clothes. It’s a question of good balance and good common sense.”
Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that special dress, and I try to make that dream a reality for her.” (In re: designing Amal Alamuddin’s wedding gown.)
I don’t really know how to do casual clothes.”
I hate pretty. It’s a very empty word. It gives a bad name to beauty.”
What women have achieved in the last 50 years, I wish men would have achieved in the last 100.”

Huma Abedin and what's his name

quite nearly in my eyes the most perfect wedding dress ever.

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