Legendary Designer Oscar de la Renta passed away at 82

Posted: Oct 21 2014

It is a gloomy day in the world of fashion. Legendary designer Oscar de la Renta has passed away at 82 after battling eight years of cancer. 

Oscar Aristedes de la Renta was born in Santo Domingo on July 22, 1932.  He finished high school in Santo Domingo, and although his father preferred that he join him in the insurance business, young Oscar persuaded his mother to send him to Madrid to study art. There, he began his 50-year long career in fashion during the 1950's in Franco's Spain, and was soon working in the Madrid salon of Cristobal Balenciaga, perhaps the greatest couturier of that period.

From there, he moved onto work Lanvin's Antonio del Castillo in Paris, and remained with him until his move to America with Elizabeth Arden. After leaving Elizabeth Arden, Mr. de la Renta made his debut as a couture designer in Paris in 1993, showing a collection for Pierre Balmain. Mr. de la Renta also showed his ready-to-wear collection in Paris for three seasons, in 1991 and 1992.

During his long career of dressing A-list celebrities on the red carpet to four first ladies, Mr. de la Renta was among the few designers who knew the difference between the runway and fashion.

“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.”

Rest in Peace, Mr. de la Renta.

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