The Death of an Icon

With award season fast approaching, the question “Who are you wearing?” will likely be met with sadness this year.

On Monday, the fashion world lost one of its most influential icons, Oscar de la Renta, who died at age 82 from cancer complications.

Fashion may not be everyone’s forte, and it may be difficult for the average person to pick out one designer over another. However, there is a certain air of elegance that de la Renta’s creations put forth for anyone he’s dressed, leaving his creations easily recognizable.

The man’s career spanned about half a generation. Initially set to attend art school to study painting, de la Renta started sketching fashion designs on the side. Eventually, he became an apprentice for Cristóbal Balenciaga after a dress he designed for Francesca Lodge made it to the cover of Life magazine.

From that point, de la Renta’s career was steadily on its way up through the world of fashion. He started working for Elizabeth Arden and then moved on to work for Jane Derby, for whom he took over for after her death.

Over the years, many of de la Renta’s designs and creations changed to become more diverse. Of course, bridal wear became a staple of his designs, but de la Renta’s ventures into home furnishings, perfumes and less expensive clothing lines lead to a much broader range of customers.

The list of celebrities who have been dressed by this famous designer is staggering. Most known for dressing Jacqueline Kennedy, de la Renta has gone on to dress everyone from Hillary Clinton to Taylor Swift to George Clooney’s wife Amal Alamuddin most recently.

The fashion world has been graced with de la Renta’s elegant designs since the 1960s, and we can only hope that the company will continue with his legacy.

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