Part 2: Remembering Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta 2015 image with quote-1

Oscar de la Renta 1

Oscar de la Renta passed away on October 20, 2014 at the age of 82 at his home in Kent, Connecticut.
He will truly be missed.


Oscar de la Renta ~ five decades

 a ·  b ·  c ·  d ·  e ·  f ·  g ·  h ·  i ·  j ·  k ·  l ·  m }

While I was compiling these pictures and information about Oscar de la Renta to share with you, it took me back to my memories of him in the early 90’s when I studied fashion. His influence was as strong then as it is now.  He was one of the leading fashion designers of his time. For five decades he influenced the world of fashion and made women feel beautiful and elegant with his clothes.


Oscar de la Renta timeline 1932-1

Oscar de la Renta 4

Oscar de la Renta was Born on July 22, 1932 in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic.  He was the youngest and the only boy of 7 children.  At the age of 18, he traveled to Spain to study painting {at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid} and start his career as an artist.

He told Fern Mallis at 92Y {2013}, “My mother said, ‘I will always back you.’ A lot of what I am is because of my mother. To go to Paris was unthinkable. My mother really twisted my father’s arm for letting me go to Spain because I’d never see her again. That is a sacrifice.”


Oscar de la Renta timeline 1956.

Oscar de la Renta, Life magazine

Beatrice Lodge was being fitted in her debutante dress by fashion designer Oscar De La Renta

His fashion sketches caught the attention of Francesca Braggiotti, the wife of the U.S. ambassador to Spain, John Davis Lodge.  She asked him to design a dress for her daughter, Beatrice Cabot Lodge for her coming-out ball in Madrid.


Oscar de la Renta, Life magazine July 1956

Beatrice Cabot Lodge on the cover of LIFE magazine, July 1956. 


Oscar de la Renta, Life magazine July 1956

Beatrice Lodge’s debut, LIFE magazine, July 1956 {page 118}

Photos of the dress was featured in LIFE magazine in July 1956 {pages 117-119}.  The start of his fashion career began.


Oscar de la Renta timeline 1956-1961-1.

Oscar de la Renta - Cristobal Balenciaga 1950

Cristóbal Balenciaga {Jauary 21, 1895 – March 23, 1972}

Oscar de la Renta - Cristobal Balenciaga fashion  collections

Cristóbal Balenciaga’s beautiful fashion collections over the years. n ·  o ·  p ·  q ·  r}

A prominent and renowned couturier of Spain, Cristóbal Balenciaga, took notice of his work and offered him an apprenticeship. One of his main jobs was to sketch dresses for clients.  Adding a little humor, he said in the 2013 interview with Fern Mallis at 92Y “You ask me what I was doing?  I was picking pins off the floor.”


Oscar de la Renta timeline 1961-1963-1.

Oscar de la Renta - Lanvin Paris

“I’m in Paris less than 24 hours and I was offered a job. I was so excited I was going to get a job.” [Then Lanvin came knocking … ] “I have a job at Dior. I already accepted another job. Mr. [Antonio del] Castillo said, ‘How much are they paying you?’ I’d been in New York for less than one week and now I had offers for two jobs.”  Oscar de la Renta said at 92Y with Fern Mallis {2013}.

On another occasion, Oscar de la Renta told Bernadine Morris, a fashion reporter for The New York Times, “He {Mr. Castillo} loved me because I spoke Spanish, and he asked me if I could cut, drape and sew, and of course I said yes.  He offered me a little more money than Dior, and I said I would start in two weeks. Then I went to a fashion school and asked the woman who ran it if she could teach me the year’s course in two weeks.”

In 1961 he traveled to Paris and became a design assistant for Antonio del Castillo at Lanvin.


Oscar de la Renta timeline 1963-1965-1

Oscar de la Renta - Elizabeth Arden

Two years later {1963} he moved to New York where he became a designer for Elizabeth Arden.



Oscar de la Renta timeline 1965-1.

Oscar de la Renta, flagship store New York

Oscar de la Renta flagship store {4,000 square foot space} is the most expensive clothing store in the US, 2014.
772 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10065

His years of couture training and experiences in working with fabrics and designing lead him to launch his own signature ready-to-wear collection for women in 1965. His company has grown and  expanded into bridal wear, accessories, beauty products, kids clothing, menswear, as well as home decor.


Oscar de la Renta timeline 1967-1.

Oscar de la Rentan &bFrancoise de Langlade {1977}

{Oscar de la Renta and Francoise de Langlage, 1977}

In 1967, Oscar de la Renta married Francoise Langlade, the editor of French Vogue.  She passed away in 1983 to cancer.


Oscar de la Renta, timeline 1980-1

Oscar de la Renta, Boy Scout uniformsOscar de la Renta, Jerry Hall and the Boy Scouts in their new uniforms

“The most complete overhaul of the Boy Scout uniform in nearly 60 years occurred in 1980. Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta donated his services for a two-year project of remaking all uniforms, for Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Explorers, and both men and women adult Scouters.”  Scouting magazine, Robert Peterson 2002.


Oscar de la Renta timeline 1986-1.

Oscar de la Renta with his son Moises

In 1986 he adopted his son, Moises at the age of 2.  As he explained, “It took almost two years to get the adoption because at that point I was a widower.” In the Dominican Republic it is difficult for single parents to adopt. “He was unable to come here until he was 3 because he had no papers.  He had been abandoned by his mother on a trash pile.”


Oscar de la Renta timeline 1989-1.

Oscar de la Renta and Annette Reed, pic 10-21-14

 Oscar de la Renta with his wife, Annette Reed at the White House, February 1, 1995.

He remarried six years later {1989} to Annette {Mannheimer-Engelhard} Reed.  She has two daughters {Eliza Bolen and Beatrice Morrison} and a son {Charles Reed} from her previous marriage.

.  .  .  .  .

The company is still privately-owned.  Alex Bolen {stepson-in-law} is the company’s Chief Executive Officer with his wife, Eliza Bolen {step-daughter}  as VP of Licensings and in the new position to the company as Creative Director is Peter Copping.



Oscar de la Renta timeline O-1.

Oscar de la Renta ~ Jacqueline Kennedy

First lady Jacqueline Kennedy on a visit to India, in 1962.

He was known for dressing celebrities and the first ladies {Jacqueline Kennedy, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush}.


Oscar de la Renta ~  Laura Bush Inauguration  Ball 2005

First lady Laura Bush wore an icy blue gown by Oscar de la Renta at the 2005 inaugural ball.

“We will always remember him as the man who made women look and feel beautiful,” former first lady Laura Bush.


Oscar de la Renta timeline O-1.

Oscar de la Renta - gray PNG-1

July 22, 1932 – October 20, 2014

Oscar De La Renta




Oscar de la Renta, quote

A note from Oscar de la Renta with my little added floral embellishments.

part 1  ⎜


1 Gotham magazine  ⎜ Oscar de la Renta-Facebook:  {Brides}, {dinner dress for Jane Derby Vogue 1966}, {resort 2007}, {resort 2015}, 10 {spring 2013}, 14 {Oscar’s drawing-spring necklace}  ⎜ 3 Periodicult-tumblr {Vogue, February 1983, photo Victor Skrebneski}  ⎜ Vogue:  {Cindy Crawfor wears a bare-shouldered dress ODLR}, {Gayle Hunnicutt 1960 circa}, 16 {Beatrice Lodge debutante dress}  ⎜ My Vintage Vogue-tumblr  ⎜ 11 Highlighted Life, James Nord  ⎜ 12 StyleBistro  ⎜ 13 Oscar de la Renta perfume, MimiFroufrou  ⎜ 15 Exclusive Listing  ⎜ 17, 18 LIFE magazine, July 1956  ⎜ 19 Wikipedia CB  ⎜ 20 Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa  ⎜ 21, 22, 23, 24 The Red List  ⎜ Wikipedia:  25 Lanvin logo, 26 Elizabeth Arden  ⎜ 27 What the WindowsInsider MonkeyThe Richest  ⎜ 28 International New York Times  ⎜ 29 NY Daily News, Francoise  ⎜ 30 International New York Times  ⎜ 31 listindiario, young Moises  ⎜  32 Newsweek  ⎜ 33, Jacqueline Kennedy ⎜ 34 Entertainment Sun-Times  ⎜ 35 C Magazine  ⎜  36 Oscar pr girl/instagram  ⎜ International Business Times-quotes  ⎜ The Cut,  ⎜ International New York Times, July 18, 1992  Scouting magazine 2002

Posted by Kay

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2 Responses to Part 2: Remembering Oscar de la Renta

  1. Ruthie March 14, 2015 at 7:30 am #

    Kay I was mesmerized by the article. He did make an unforgettable contribution of elegance to the fashion industry.

    Now to get to my Spring Cleaning……………..Ruthie

    • Kay March 20, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

      I’m glad you enjoyed this blog post Ruthie. I’ve been doing some spring cleaning too, but probably not as much as you 🙂

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