Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Oscar de la Renta, by royal appointment

His career spanned decades and even towards the end of his life he was designing world famous gowns. But while his last celebrated creation was for the wife of Hollywood royalty, Oscar de la Renta dressed many of the ladies of Europe's royal houses for years. From Diana, Princess of Wales to Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden the designer was responsible for some truly iconic outfits.

Diana, Princess of Wales with Ocar de la Renta

He was also a friend of Queen Sofia of Spain and chair of the Spanish Queen Sofia Institute.  Oscar de la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic and came to Spain at the age of eighteen to pursue his dream of becoming a fashion designer.  By the 1980s he was one of the biggest names in the industry - a position he held on to for the rest of his life.

Oscar de la Renta with Queen Sofia of Spain, Hillary Clinton and Antonio Banderas

Apart from his friendship with Queen Sofia, his most famous royal relationship was with the late Diana, Princess of Wales who wore his creations on a number of occasions.  In the last ten years, he has become a favourite designer for many of Europe's younger royals.  In the last few months, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden have been seen in some his creations.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in an Oscar de la Renta coat during a visit to the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen at the end of August
(photo Tivoli Gardens)

Queen Letizia and the Infanta Elena of Spain have also chosen his outfits for engagements and Queen Maxima was seen earlier this year in a de la Renta jacket.

Queen Maxima in March 2014

Oscar de la Renta's legacy is huge.  His fabulous evening dresses turned Hollywood royalty into princesses for the night when they walked the red carpet at major awards or premieres.  And the clothes he made for princesses and queens got just as much attention and will be one of the ways he is remembered for many years to come.

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