OSCAR DE LA RENTA: The Importance of “QUALITY”

Sarah Jessica Parker + Taylor Swift's 2014 Met Gala Gowns by Oscar de La Renta
Oscar de la Renta’s 2014 Met Gala Gowns custom made for Sarah Jessica Parker (left) + Taylor Swift (right.) Taylor often relied on Mr. de la Renta for many formal events; while SJP maintained a very close friendship with the designer. -Information c/o Katrina Mitzeliotis. //
The Russian Bride
De la Renta’s phase of Russian opulence is reflected in this gown inspired by Konstantin Makovsky’s painting, “The Russian Bride’s Attire”
Pale pink cloud of silk tulle and matching bow hat// Oscar de la Renta for Pierre Balmain // spring/summer 1997
A true lover of many things; stemming from philosophy to art to even include gardening; Andre Léon Talley, the former editor-at-large of American Vogue + dear friend of de la Renta’s was the mastermind behind this entire exhibit. Léon Talley created an airy, brightly-lit room adorned with garden imagery + fabric covered walls to create texture, + pay tribute to one of de la Renta’s various hobbies. These various, creatively thought-out details gave you a sense of walking through a gorgeous, expansive garden. The perfect backdrop to display this whimsical, pale pink tulle gown, which is a 1997 piece crafted by Oscar de la Renta for Pierre Balmain. //
Golden Goddess
A true sucker for the “shiniest” things in life, this two-piece dress, constructed of gilt cock feathers attached to a silk top and a gold lamé skirt, was my personal favorite of all 121 looks. It simply screams, “I am a Golden Goddess, hear me roar!” Who wouldn’t want to feel like that? //
Oscar de la Renta for Pierre Balmain evening ensemble, tunic and pants // autumn/winter 1999–2000 // Black silk velvet, gold silk appliqué.
During his ten-year span, 1992-2002, as Director at Balmain, Oscar was able to avail himself of every luxury: everything sewn, embroidered, beaded, and trimmed in the finest furs, right there in the atelier.”-Richard Benefield // Acting Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. //
Oscar de La Renta's Homage to his Latin Roots
Oscar studied painting in Madrid after dropping out of high school. As a means to make extra money, he started to draw Fashion Illustrations for Newspapers + Fashion Houses. Eventually leading him to study under the great Cristóbal Balenciaga; whose heavy influence on the young designer impacted his work throughout the entirety of his career. Here is a perfect example of how these fiery Latin roots can be seen in the the likes of numerous creations made by the famous designer. -Information c/o Jill D’Alessandro // Curator of Textile Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. //
Inspiration from 18th Century France + Russia returned Oscar to a decade dedicated to precision, detail, + perfection throughout the '90s
Oscar de la Renta embellished precision shown in this 1990’s Russian inspired piece for Pierre Balmain dictated his craftsmanship throughout the 90s. De la Renta famously stated, ““Today, people—clothes—are international. Frontiers are non-existent” in regards to this era. //
Eight evening gowns captured by Steven Meisel's 2010 Vogue Spread
Amongst the exhibit, one room was solely dedicated to this witty recreation of Steven Meisel’s 2010 Vogue Spread highlighting emerging young models from South Korea, China, + Japan. Pick your favorite. It’s nearly impossible! Please see below for the actual image which appeared in Vogue. //
December 2010 Vogue Issue
Here is the actual image by Steven Meisel in Vogue, December 2010. The original image was published in 1948 by Cecil Beaton. The original dresses were designed that same year by Charles James. //
Oscar de la Renta’s Coffee Table Book available for $50.48 via Amazon Prime. Find the link here: http://amzn.to/1TS4HdS


Oscar de la Renta  // was a man who knew the true meaning of elegance.  The gift of showcasing the beauty in each + every woman he created a one of a kind masterpiece for has left behind a legacy which he forged for over five decades. Through his artform: Fashion Design; Mr. Oscar de la Renta became one of the most influential icons within the Modern Fashion World. So what does this icon, whose individual styles run for ↑ of thousands of dollars a piece, have to do with BARGAINS? Everything.

My mom and I visited the de Young Museum in San Francisco a few weeks back, purchasing two $30 tickets; we leisurely strolled t five decadent rooms adorned with 121 beautifully displayed works of art created by the Dominican Republic native. Oscar De La Renta: The Retrospective w us to view the masterpieces Oscar crafted throughout the decades. It was fascinating. The man did not make clothes. He created art. The man hand sketched masterpieces with the utmost care + respect for each stitch, pattern placement, + trim adorning his breathtaking visions. Visions he made a reality. Inspired by his travels, various passions such as gardening, + beauty; he was the man who dressed the most diverse personalities + celebrities: from four First Ladies to our very own Taylor Swift.

This exhibit reinforced the importance of a BARGAIN; the real difference between an ‘eh’  item we purchased for half-off simply because we recognized the label. Guess what? It was probably made in China + has a reason it is half-off. Or what about last season’s fall trend holding on for its dear polyester life as it dangles from a plastic hanger? Not. Worth. It. 

This illusion is similar to the myth that ↑ PRICE =↑ QUALITY. EH. Wrong. Slapping a label on an item does not necessarily mean this Designer Item was created any differently than our favorite thrift store thread. That “Label” inflates the price; making this Designer Piece more expensive + a complete waste of our hard earned cash.

In no way am I saying we all go out + purchase items we know are the “Cream of the Crop”: Such as an Hermès Bag or a Chanel Coat. We must just examine our purchases before swiping our cards or inputting out CVV. // Urgh, don’t ever memorize all your CC #. L // We have to think: Is this$59.99 faux leather jacket for adorned with the details that rule every inch of this season’s staple trends worth it? Or does it make more sense to stash away an additional $115+tax so we can $175.00 real leather classic jacket that will last us season after season? Consider quality. Consider wearability. Consider when to save. Consider when to splurge.

If you don’t know where to begin, start by visiting Banana Republic. Head straight to the ‘SALE RACK’ + do not pass ‘GO.’ Their quality is impeccable; especially in comparison to their sale prices. Their markdowns are mind-blowing at times + please, don’t get me started on their sales…Oh btw, it’s Nordstrom’s Half Yearly Sale currently. Need I say more?

So FABS, // remember that if it’s a “must-have splurge,” place it in your cart online + wait until it goes on sale. Or allow yourself that one ‘Hall Pass’ if it’s that one timeless, chic staple which will maintain it’s integrity year after year.

And thank you to Mr. de la Renta. Not for designing S.J.P.’s + Penelope Cruz’s Met Gala Dresses, but for living a life where you celebrated women as individuals, for leaving a transformative imprint in the World of Fashion, + for reminding us all the importance of QUALITY above all else.


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Photo c/o Oscar De la Renta LLC







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welcome to my [not-so-basic] fashion, lifestyle, + travel blog. do i love clothes? duh. do i love to travel? duh. do i love puns, quips, + not taking myself too seriously? duh. but what i truly love is making a difference. using fashion as a platform to highlight causes near + dear to my ♡; fashionisduh is on a mission. a mission to celebrate female empowerment, the LGBT community, self-love, + the brands doing just the same. so please, join me. xx. kelly

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