Oscar de la Renta Retrospective Opens in San Francisco

Oscar de la Renta evening dress in green silk, with pink and green embroidery (spring 2011) (Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is hosting the first ever retrospective of Oscar de la Renta’s work. The exhibition, organized by André Leon Talley, a former editor-at-large for Vogue and lifelong friend of the designer, runs until May 30.

The retrospective features over 130 pieces designed by the famous American fashion designer over the last five decades. These are organized into several sections, covering the designer’s early work; Spanish, Eastern, Russian and garden influences; daywear and eveningwear; and ball gowns and red carpet ensembles.

“Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective” follows the making of the designer’s successful career, starting out in Spain, before heading to some of the world’s most famous fashion houses, such as Cristóbal Balenciaga, Lanvin and Elizabeth Arden. The exhibition also examines his influence on fashion in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Exhibits include pieces worn by famous figures like the former American First Lady, Laura Bush, the former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and actresses and musicians such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Taylor Swift, Karlie Kloss, Nicki Minaj, Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Rihanna and Amy Adams.

Beatrice Lodge (daughter of the Spanish ambassador to the USA) in her Oscar de la Renta debutante dress in 1956 (Credit: Nina Leen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Born in 1932, Oscar de la Renta left his native Dominican Republic to study painting in Madrid, where he soon landed an apprenticeship with the famous Spanish fashion designer, Cristóbal Balenciaga. He then left Spain to work alongside Antonio Castillo at Lanvin. In 1963, he moved to New York to design a couture collection for Elizabeth Arden. Then, in 1965, he launched his own ready-to-wear label, which has grown to become one of the most prestigious in the fashion world.

This isn’t the first time that the San Francisco museum has focused on fashion, having previously hosted “Vivienne Westwood: 36 Years in Fashion” (2007), “Yves Saint Laurent” (2008-2009), “Balenciaga and Spain” (2011), “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” (2012) and, more recently, “High Style: The Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection” (2015).

“Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective” runs March 12 to May 30, 2016, at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

For more information visit: www.famsf.org

In this Story: #style / #fashion