The industry mourns ‘The Gentleman Of Fashion’
Tributes have been flooding in following the announcement that leading New York fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has died at the age of 82 after battling cancer.
The red carpet favourite, whose designs had been worn by everyone from Princess Diana to Emma Watson, had built a loyal and starry client base since launching his eponymous label in 1965.
Dressing Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s gave Dominican Republic-born Oscar his big solo break, after years spent learning his craft from other greats – both as an apprentice to Cristobal Balenciaga and then during stints at Lanvin and Balmain in Paris.
Image: Oscar de la Renta Spring 1969
‘The world lost one of the most extraordinary people that I have ever met,’ Karlie Kloss, widely recognised as one of the designer’s modern muses wrote. ‘Thank you for helping me become the woman I am today and for always inspiring me to be better. There simply is no one else like you.’
‘You made this a dream come a True !! R I P #TheGentlemanofFashion #Oscar de la Renta’ Naomi Campbell wrote on Instagram.
‘I’ll always remember him as a gentleman and class act,’ Coco Rocha tweeted. ‘Oscar was never afraid to speak his mind or share his point of view.’
‘We lost a fashion icon. Thoughts & prayers for family, friends, & all at Oscar de la Renta. We’ll miss you Oscar!’ said Marc Jacobs.
‘Oscar de la Renta was a wonderful designer, a true Renaissance man. His voice will continue to sing in our hearts.’ Diane von Furstenberg said on Twitter.
‘My all-time favorite designer has passed away, wrote Taylor Swift on Instagram. ‘Oscar, it was an honor to wear your creations and to know you. In loving memory.’
Sarah Jessica Parker and her Sex And The City character Carrie Bradshaw were both fans of OdlR, with the latter once declaring; ‘Oscar de La Renta sleeveless silk, full-skirted dress with black patent-leather bow belt – now that is pure poetry.’
Oscar’s work recently came into the spotlight again, as Amal Alamuddin chose to wear one of his bespoke wedding dresses for her marriage to George Clooney.
The news comes just a week after the designer announced a successor, of sorts, at his label. Peter Copping, formerly of Nina Ricci was appointed to work alongside the designer, who had no immediate plans to retire.
Oscar is survived by his wife, philanthropist Annette Engelhard.