CONNECTICUT – Oscar de la Renta, one of the most sought-after fashion designers of the last half century, dressing American first ladies and Hollywood stars in his classic silhouettes, has died.
An individual, taking telephone calls at the designer’s residence in Connecticut, confirmed that the designer died on Monday night at the age of 82.
His death was first reported by the ABC News.
The New York Times said de la Renta died of complications from cancer.
De la Renta was born to a prominent family in the Dominican Republic and went to Spain to study art, but was drawn to fashion.
He started working alongside Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga.
He made his name in the 1960s dressing one of the major fashion icons of the day, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
He established his company in New York in 1965.
The designer was known as one of the industry’s classic creators.
He was famous for elegantly feminine designs marked by flattering silhouettes with full skirts and cinched waists, often rendered in soft hues and floral patterns.
Most recently, he made the wedding dress for human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney, for her last month’s marriage in Venice, Italy, to Hollywood actor and Director, George Clooney.
“George and I wanted a wedding that was romantic and elegant, and I can’t imagine anyone more able than Oscar to capture this mood in a dress,” Amal Clooney told Vogue magazine.
The slim de la Renta cut an elegant figure himself in the New York fashion world, where he was a favourite of Vogue magazine’s powerful editor, Anna Wintour, and fashion-savvy actresses such as Sarah Jessica Parker.
“So sad, for the loss of this legend.
Oscar de la Renta, thank you for all the beauty and inspiration you shared with us,” tweeted Nina Garcia, the Marie Claire Creative Director and judge, on TV’s fashion designer competition “Project Runway”.
De la Renta’s classic looks were popular on Hollywood’s red carpets and particularly well-suited to the tastes of the first ladies at the White House, most of whom were repeat clients.
“My daughters and I have many fond memories of visits with Oscar, who designed our favourite clothes, including Jenna’s wedding dress,” Laura Bush, wife of former President George W. Bush, said in a statement.
De la Renta is survived by his wife, Annette. (Reuters/NAN)