Oscar de la Renta passed away at age 82 on Monday
De la Renta was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on July 22, 1932 to an influential Dominican-Puerto Rican family. His dreams took him far, and early: At 17, he enrolled at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid to study painting, and began sketching dresses on the side. Through family friends, his sketches were seen by the wife of the U.S. ambassador to Spain, who asked De la Renta to design a dress for her debutante daughter, Beatrice Cabot Lodge. A photograph of the dress landed on the cover of Life magazine in 1956, and not long after, De la Renta was learning fashion design at the hands of Cristóbal Balenciaga, and later, as a couture assistant under Antonio Castillo at Lanvin in Paris.
A ready-to-wear designer, De la Renta’s couture training always showed. Whatever the fashion of the moment, his garments were always constructed, shaping the female body into something more perfect and swan-like than its natural shape allowed. “I don’t really know how to do casual clothes,” he told WWD in 2005. His legacy will live on, may he Rest In Peace. Via Fashionista.com
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