He has worked for Cristóbal Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Elizabeth Arden. He has dressed every first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy. His gowns have graced red carpets on stars from Blake Lively to Katy Perry. Thousands of brides have dawned his creations, and now after 49 years under his namesake brand, legendary designer Oscar de la Renta has passed away at the age of 82. His designs, and his genuine spirit, will be missed by the entire fashion industry, but he will continue to inspire the industry for many generations to come. He was a true fashion innovator, and here we remember some of his best moments.
Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2014 Met Gala
To celebrate Charles James-famous for designing large ball gowns-at this past year’s Met Gala, Parker wore a huge custom de la Renta princess dress, complete with a satin skirt, a black corset, gloves, and diamonds. Parker requested specifically that de la Renta sign his name across the back in bright red, and she was named one of the best dressed by major fashion magazines, including Elle and Glamour.
Cameron Diaz at the 2010 Academy Awards
At the 2010 Oscars, Cameron Diaz chose to outshine the award statues themselves in a glimmering gold Oscar de la Renta A-line gown. The dress was dubbed by the industry one of the best Oscar dresses of all time.
Carrie Bradshaw in Season 6 of Sex and the City
In a now iconic scene, Carrie is given a bright pink silk Oscar de la Renta dress by the man she is dating, Alexander Petrovsky, apparently a good friend of Oscar’s, after she points out the design in a magazine. Bradshaw was supposed to wear it to the ballet, but ended up wearing it to McDonald’s instead.
Amy Adams at the 2013 Academy Awards
Amy Adams stunned in a custom silver de la Renta gown at the Oscars. Adams helped de la Renta with the dress’ inspiration, bringing him black and white vintage photographs that ultimately led to the gown’s creation. The dress’ countless layers of ruffled tulle and embroidered sparkle, trailing several feet behind her, made it one of the night’s standout looks. André Leon Talley, a former Vogue editor, said Miss Adams’ dress got his best dressed “top honors.”
His Final Bow
Oscar de la Renta bowed at his final runway show flanked by a wall of flowers and his favorite supermodels, Karlie Kloss and Daria Strokous. Just after the this show, Kloss posted a selfie of the pair on Instagram with the caption, “There is no one on earth who makes a woman feel more beautiful than Oscar de la Renta,” which has garnered nearly 40,000 likes since, not surprising considering the indisputable beauty of his Spring/Summer ’15 collection. It had every signature Oscar mark: feminine, polished, colorful, elegant, but with a youthful spirit that infused joy into the show; a perfect way for the designer to say goodbye.
Oscar de la Renta will be forever missed, and forever remembered, by the world.
Sophie Lewis is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.