Homage to Oscar de la Renta

As a little girl, two things were considered a daily necessity: dresses and drawing. I’d wake up and beeline it to the dress-up chest, drench myself in a rainbow of tulle and tutus, then set out for the crayons to create my next refrigerator doodle. Most of the photos from my childhood appear as though I emerged from a 1980s costume party, although my mother swears she didn’t make me dress in the dark!

When I first learned that legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta had passed away this week, my heart dropped straight into my stomach. His talent was the kind that didn’t just turn women into queens, it influenced some of the most dominant fashion houses today. His resume was the stuff of legends: an apprenticeship with couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, couture assistant at Lanvin in Paris, longtime couture designer for Balmain—and this is just a piece of it! What’s more, the way he entered the fashion world is nothing short of magical: his drawings.

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To make ends meet as a painting student in Spain, de la Renta freelanced as a fashion illustrator for newspapers and fashion houses. All it took was one glance from Francesca Lodge, the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, and he had his first proposal to design a dress for her lucky daughter. His first big break seemed at once so fateful and accidental, it didn’t take long for de la Renta to get swept away into the world of fashion. Fast forward to today, and his several-decade influence truly is the shot heard ’round the red carpet. Farewell, Sir de la Renta—what a privilege it has been to witness your lifetime of creative genius!

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 Oscar de la Renta

July 22, 1932 – October 20, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Chris Gauger

Chris is a self-confessed resale fashionista. A fashion recycler from an early age, she learned the consignment business from her mother, Jan Gauger, at omt divine resale in Lincoln, Nebraska. Chris moved to Portland, Oregon in 1990 and immediately felt at home, among her people. She started Here We Go Again Deluxe Resale Boutique in 1992 and has never looked back. The second location of her store opened in 1997. Chris loves pretty much everything about clothes and fashion, but she has a serious boot and shoe addiction that is fed by the two stores. It's doubtful she will ever be recovered. In addition to clothes, Chris loves mentoring young women and teaching them about what it takes to run and manage a small business. She has employed some pretty remarkable women over the years and is grateful for all they've done to help grow Here We Go Again. She is a Hoosier by birth, but was raised in Nebraska. She has two sisters who continue to run the consignment store there, and one brother who has sense enough to stay out of the way. Her husband of twenty-seven years, is a land use planner and the fix-anything-guru that Chris relies upon more often than she'd like.

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