20 October 2014 marked a very sad day in fashion as we tragically lost one of the greatest and most respectable designers of our time.
Oscar de la Renta’s career spanned over six decades. He had dressed some of the most beautiful women in the most spectacular gowns, the latest lucky ladies include Amal Clooney, who recently got married in one of De la Renta’s stunning creations. The new bride describes the late great designer as “the man every woman wants to hug“.
For me, the fondest and most personal memories I hold of De la Renta are possibly the ones I spent watching The September Issue over and over again. That was when I found the ‘calling’, if you will, in my life. As a young boy who just relocated to the UK from a rural village in Malaysia, I knew next to nothing about fashion then but I was inspired by the documentary to take the writing and editing route. I suppose you could say he’d been there the whole way through with me… and despite his brief cameo appearance, De la Renta made a lasting impression on me. He came across extremely amiable and relatable. His dry sense of humour even made a conversation with Anna Wintour on a relatively uninteresting subject regarding which designer to recommend to Mango a pleasure to watch!!
It’s never easy for males to fully relate to female fashion but De la Renta’s designs truly transcended gender boundaries and stereotypes. He was the man I’d always identified with as the ultimate master of romance. As you can see in some of the highlights in his latest S/S 15 Ready-to-Wear collection featuring lots and lots of his signature florals, soft pastel tones and the occasional checks:
As he would say “elegance is a discipline of life“… then again, how could anyone NOT feel beautiful in dresses like that? In all seriousness, there really is no one better in making more romantic, more feminine and more graceful dresses and gowns.
You’ll be missed, Mr. De la Renta. “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself,” shall forever remain one of my favourite inspirational quotes and the motto I live by.