Last night a friend of mine sent me a text message, alerting me to the fact that Oscar de la Renta had passed away. He was 82 years old and had been battling cancer for some time. I have always loved Oscar de la Renta's design aesthetic, and I was so sorry to hear that he had passed away.
By all accounts, it seems he was as gracious and elegant in his personal, real life, as he was in his designs.
As recently as 2012, at an event in New York City, Mr. De la Renta spoke about his cancer. He told the crowd, "The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life."
It was always one of my dreams to attend one of his fashion shows in New York, but since I am not a regular customer, nor a celebrity, nor a fashion insider, that dream never materialized. BUT, I have been extremely fortunate to find a couple of Mr. De la Renta's designs over the years on consignment, or on eBay.
I always loved his use of color and his delicate, beautiful fabrics, especially his lace and eyelet pieces. One day I hope to find an eyelet or lace blouse, or a fabulous, colorful dress, to add to my collection.
Another thing I loved about his designs was that he made clothes to fit women who are a size 0 and those who are a size 16 or 18! It seems his goal was to make women feel beautiful, regardless of their dress size.
So today, the fashion world is poorer for the loss of this creative man, who it seems, more than anything, was a true gentleman. May you rest in peace, Mr. De la Renta, and may God comfort your family and friends as they go on without you.
“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.” ~ New York Times