As a southern sorority girl who moved to New York City, I’ll admit (but only to you) that I sometimes find fashion a bit baffling. I don’t necessarily love whatever look is considered “of the moment,” even when I know I’m supposed to. When it comes to Oscar de la Renta’s looks, though, not only do I fully understand them, I adore them. Oscar’s designs were classic, feminine, and chic. After training under Balenciaga, he worked as the designer of Balmain for years. He was adored by First Ladies, top models, and all of Hollywood.
A First Lady favorite, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama (who he chided for not wearing American designers), have all worn his designs. Anna Wintour often wears his looks, just in case you were wondering exactly how A-list Oscar was. Oscar’s creations were the fairytale princess dresses you would dream about wearing as a little girl, and the wedding gowns you pin as an almost grown-up. Over the years, fashion changed. What you were even five years ago now looks impossibly ancient, but not when it comes to Oscar.
While the puffed sleeves he put on Hillary Clinton might not stand the test of time, that doesn’t make them any less memorable. The bright colors, the surprising play on patterns– he made women, whether they were celebrities or debutantes (because let’s be honest, at that price point that’s who was wearing him), look absolutely stunning. They didn’t look like they were Kim Kardashian types, stuffed into clothing because they heard it was fashionable. They all looked happy, beautiful, and comfortable in their own skin, because of Oscar’s designs.