Update 9:50PM: Hollywood reacts to the death of their beloved designer, who died at 82 after a long battle with cancer:
Said Taylor Swift on Instagram, “My all-time favorite designer has passed away. Oscar, it was an honor to wear your creations and to know you. In loving memory.”
Previous 6:45 PM: For over 50 years, he dressed everyone from first ladies such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Hillary Clinton to A-list celebrities like Sandra Bullock and Jessica Chastain. Oscar de la Renta died at 82 after a long battle with cancer, a family member confirmed to media sources. Born into the high society of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on July 22, 1932, de la Renta became known for swathing women in silk-taffeta and chiffon gowns that were praised as pieces of art. One of his well known quotes: “There is no sound more feminine than a woman in a taffeta dress.”
At the age of 18, de la Renta left his homeland to study painting in Madrid, Spain at the Academy of San Fernando. This led to his interest in sketching fashion designs, which segued to being mentored by Spanish couturier Cristobal Belenciaga. A spot as the assistant to Antonio del Castillo at Lanvin in Paris soon followed. At the suggestion of Vogue editor Diana Vreeland in 1963, he went to work at Arden so that he could develop his ready to wear label faster. It was under designer Jane Derby that de la Renta fully launched his label in 1965. His moniker included everything from evening gowns, bridal wear, the fragrance OSCAR, homewares and furnishings.
Of those he made sparkle at inaugural balls, premieres and award ceremonies: Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Kerry Washington among many others.
Back in July, around the time of the designer’s birthday, more than 60 of de la Renta’s dresses were displayed at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas in a retrospective titled “Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style.” Shown off were the gowns he designed for Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and the elaborate pale-blue Cinderella-esque ball gown that Amy Adams wore.
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