Legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who dressed generations of celebrities in red carpet and evening gowns, has died after battling cancer at 82.
He first came to fame dressing Jackie Kennedy, and founded an influential New York fashion house. Among the actresses who appreciated his glamorous red carpet gowns were Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey, Kristen Stewart, Penelope Cruz and Jessica Chastain. One of his most recent commissions was Amal Clooney’s wedding dress.
His name was so synonymous with high fashion that an entire “Sex and the City” episode was based on the idea of Carrie Bradshaw receiving a knee-length red poufy dress from her boyfriend Aleksandr Petrovsky.
Though his ruffles and slinky satin dresses were undeniably feminine, he told Elle magazine, “I hate pretty. It’s a very empty word. It gives a bad name to beauty.”
His designs were a favorite of first ladies — he dressed Nancy Reagan in the 1980s and then provided inaugural gowns for Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. Hillary Clinton introduced a recent retrospective of his designs, saying, “His name alone evokes elegance and timeless beauty. And his designs give each of us a chance to feel like we’re special, too.”
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