Remembering Oscar de la Renta

We look back on the life and work of one of America's great couturiers. (1932-2014)

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“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”

When you think about it, Oscar de la Renta is American royalty. Name another living designer, forget the American part, that could match Mr. de la Renta’s fashion pedigree. It’s a gobsmacking repertoire and legacy that the beloved designer leaves behind. Saks remembers Oscar de la Renta as the rest of the world does, as a gentleman of the highest order and one of the great visionary of our times.

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ODLR-In-Memoriam-saks-2

“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”

When you think about it, Oscar de la Renta is American royalty. Name another living designer, forget the American part, that could match Mr. de la Renta’s fashion pedigree. It’s a gobsmacking repertoire and legacy that the beloved designer leaves behind. Saks remembers Oscar de la Renta as the rest of the world does, as a gentleman of the highest order and one of the great visionary of our times.

ODLR-In-Memoriam-saks-1

“There is no sound more feminine than a woman in a taffeta dress.”

He may have had the distinct honor of dressing every First Lady since Jacqueline Kennedy, but it’s his roots that inspire the most awe. As of last week, who else could’ve boasted that their fashion mentor was none other than Cristobal Balenciaga? Mr. de la Renta may have had a thriving ready-to-wear business, but in America’s collective heart of hearts, he was our very own beloved couturier. France may have had all the others, but he was all ours and he made us proud.

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“My job as a designer is to make a woman feel her very best.”

In the 60s he worked as a couture assistant at Lanvin and through the nighties and well into the aughts, he was spearheading couture at Balmain. In all that time, with over five decades of experience under his belt, its hard to recall an instance where he led himself astray. Immaculate femininity wasn’t just a forte, it was a man’s lifetime manifesto.

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“There is always an emotional element to anything that you make.”

The void his passing leaves behind will be impossible to ameliorate, but we carry on replenishing ourselves on over fifty years worth of indelible images and memories, thanks to his deft hand and transcendent vision.

 

Oscar de la Renta

(1932 – 2014)


The Coveteur x Donna Karan Fall 2014

An Eloise-style fashion fantasy brought to life.

The Coveteur’s latest collaborative effort covers all the green-with-envy bases. Let’s just consider all the components, shall we?: An Eloise-style takeover of the St. Regis New York Hotel’s Milano suite (including a butler and bubbly on hand), they tapped Instagram sensation/flaxen-haired surfer goddess Hanalei Reporty as their muse du jour and got to play with a closet replete with Donna Karan‘s fall 2014 ready-to-wear collection to boot. A bona fide fantasy come to life, in other words.  Covet-worthy doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Gilded Frame

Embroidered-Cuff Belted Jacket

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The Coveteur’s latest collaborative effort covers all the green-with-envy bases. Let’s just consider all the components, shall we?: An Eloise-style takeover of the St. Regis New York Hotel’s Milano suite (including a butler and bubbly on hand), they tapped Instagram sensation/flaxen-haired surfer goddess Hanalei Reporty as their muse du jour and got to play with a closet replete with Donna Karan‘s fall 2014 ready-to-wear collection to boot. A bona fide fantasy come to life, in other words.  Covet-worthy doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Gilded Frame

Embroidered-Cuff Belted Jacket

An Officer and a Bombshell

Belted Officer Coat

 

Perpetual Poise

Belted Midi Dress

 

Monochrome Perfection

Belted Goat-Fur Coat

Treat yourself to the vicarious Coveteur x Donna Karan experience (at the very least) or better yet, pick up some of those stand-out Donna Karan pieces that Hanalei dons to perfection and recreate your own fantasy however you see fit.

There’s lots more where this came from. Fall into Donna Karan’s fall 2014 collection.


The World of Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy Fall 2014

The Givenchy world brings versatility and mystery to fashion.

Givenchy-Universe-outfits-fall-2014-saksGivenchy Fall 2014

Silk Tortoise Shell Blouse & Skirt    I    Silk Flame Print Dress

Givenchy as we know it today is a top contender for the most radically versatile luxury brand in the world. Riccardo Tisci, the brand’s creative director, has become a celebrity in his own right, moreso than your average designer. The particular dose of cool that he’s injected into the brand practically shook the earth when he unleash a pack of novelty-print rottweilers onto roomy men’s shorts and wool sweaters back in 2011, followed closely by a womenswear show that tapped that same vein, only this time, he employed peonies and panthers. The rest, as they say, is fashion history.

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Givenchy-Universe-outfits-fall-2014-saksGivenchy Fall 2014

Silk Tortoise Shell Blouse & Skirt    I    Silk Flame Print Dress

Givenchy as we know it today is a top contender for the most radically versatile luxury brand in the world. Riccardo Tisci, the brand’s creative director, has become a celebrity in his own right, moreso than your average designer. The particular dose of cool that he’s injected into the brand practically shook the earth when he unleash a pack of novelty-print rottweilers onto roomy men’s shorts and wool sweaters back in 2011, followed closely by a womenswear show that tapped that same vein, only this time, he employed peonies and panthers. The rest, as they say, is fashion history.

Givenchy-Universe-bags-novelty-prints-saksNovelty Print Bags

Bambi-Print-Zip-Around Wallet    I    Madonna Medium Shopper Tote    I    Rottweiler Pouch

But Tisci also has a knack for going topsy-turvy on his fans when they least expect it. After a few seasons of experimenting with print, covering a full gamut of birds of paradise flowers, pixelated Madonnas and mixed-media Bambis, for the pre-fall and fall 2014 seasons, he went for something different altogether. He went for art and deep sensuality – the kind of art that preceded pixels, the kind of “sensuality” that anticipated the celebrity era.

Givenchy-Universe-outfits-pre-fall-2014-saksGivenchy Pre-Fall 2014

Wool Multi-Stripe Flag Tee & Knit Stripe Pencil Skirt  I  Mosaic-Print Dress

Orchid-Print Pique’ Polo & Pleated Wool Maxi Skirt

Considered as a whole, the Givenchy universe that Tisci has molded for himself, from ready-to-wear, to accessories, to haute couture, is the stuff that demands constant revision. It needs to be reworked each season, because the pieces he created two, three, four years ago deserves reinterpretation each season. That’s why those rottweilers and bambis and Madonnas are here to stay. Tisci’s work refuses to lose its resonance.

Givenchy-Universe-shoes-fall-2014-saksFootwear: Yesterday (Spring 2012), Today (Pre-Fall 2014) and Tomorrow (Fall 2014)

Yesterday: Leather Shark-Lock Sandals  I  Today: Odia Leather Mule Sandal

Tomorrow: Leopard-Print Calf Hair Pumps

Dive in and discover the yesterday, today and tomorrow of Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy.