20th-century fashion icons and their contributions: Óscar de la Renta
Today is the turn of another giant of design and beauty, the well-remembered Latino Óscar de la Renta.
Óscar de la Renta
Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo was born on July 22, 1932, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, into an influential family. And he showed his penchant for painting at an early age.
At the age of 15, he entered the Santo Domingo Academy of Fine Arts, where he was the youngest student in the group. When he turned 18, he moved to Madrid to study painting at the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
Since his father did not support this artistic facet, he stopped financing his expenses in Madrid. He drew illustrations of haute couture suits for newspapers and fashion houses to obtain economic income.
Later, and following the same activity of the sketches, he manages to make these for the leading Spanish fashion houses. He connects with the designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, whom he considers his mentor.
In 1961 he moved to Paris to work as an assistant with Antonio del Castillo at the Lanvin fashion house. He stayed for two years, later moving to New York and starting work at the New York firm Elizabeth Arden thanks to Diana Vreeland´s advice.
In 1965, after leaving the Arden house, Óscar de la Renta founded his ready-to-wear brand. Which quickly established itself in the Big Apple and its society thanks to its striking colorful designs. And the Caribbean and Spanish influences in their silhouettes and prints.
An expansion was achieved in 1977 with the first fragrance launch called Óscar. Its brand was promoted and much more recognized thanks to the popularity achieved among the first ladies of the United States. Such as Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Jacqueline Kennedy.
The brand’s evolution continued in motion when in 2001, the designer introduced a line of household items. And, in 2004, a low-cost line so that another type of public could access haute couture designs.
In 2006, he launched her line of wedding dresses.
In this same year (2006), he announced his retirement after being diagnosed with cancer. Leaving designer Peter Copping in command of the fashion house, who held the position until 2016, when, for personal reasons, he decided to leave the firm. Then the designers Laura Kim and Fernando García to be the creative directors of the firm.
Contributions to fashion
Óscar de la Renta distinguished himself and quickly became recognized.
All thanks to his unusual designs, for his designs’ Latin and Spanish influences.
The color and an ode to feminine sensuality made women turn to admire their ready-made garments.
But let us know what his designs or style stood out in the world of fashion.
The presence of bright colors, volume, flowers, and exotic prints has been the brand’s essence since its inception.
Predominating in most of its designs and other brand creations, such as accessories, perfumes, and the line for the home.
Another outstanding element, both the brand and its founder, is tailoring. The influence comes from Orcas de la Renta himself, who used to dress like a tailor even during the day. This led him to be part of the hall of fame of the International Best Dressed List in 1973.
His designs were based on square frames and flaps, using wool and tweed materials for their manufacture for the male line.
As for women’s tailoring, the designs were contemporary, fluid, and comfortable. With widened waists and merging garments such as the blazer with the wrap dress.
His design line in terms of dresses is classic, differentiating himself by the presence of color. And the already mentioned Caribbean and European influence characteristic of his clothing.
Prominent bows, ruffles, and pleats give a masterful touch to their garments, making many famous people fall in love worldwide.
Another style that has determined its hallmark is midi-cut dresses with a narrow waist and flap pockets. And the use of materials such as leather and fabrics.
Another of the brand’s most emblematic products is the line of wedding dresses.
Launched in 2006, it is characterized by a romantic design, simple lines, and, above all, versatility. Since the dresses can be adapted to different occasions, from black-tie parties to cocktail-type events. Depending on the bride’s taste and your desire to wear either a long dress or a more discreet suit.
Óscar de la Renta dies in Connecticut on October 20, 2014, after battling cancer for several years at 82.
De la Renta was a pillar for the consolidation and diffusion of American fashion. Combining and fusing the classic and old with the modernity of the moment. Incorporating his characteristic Latin, Caribbean, and Spanish stamp into his designs, a symbol of femininity and elegance.