It didn’t take long after learning that Oscar de la Renta had passed away for the world to admit that it had just become a little less glamorous. Looking at Twitter and Instagram, that seems to be the general consensus. Glamour is de la Renta’s legacy, the common thread of all his designs, and almost always the first adjective that comes to mind whenever we think of the storied designer.
To say that Oscar’s creations were out of a fairytale would be putting it lightly. Yes, the skirts were sometimes too large for the back of a cramped cab and the details so spectacular that you couldn’t decide which angle was most optimal to take a photo, but ultimately, Oscar's designs were the kind that put the spotlight on the woman (rather than on the tulle encircling her). It's no wonder he became the clothier of countless brides. "George and I wanted a wedding that was romantic and elegant," Amal Clooney told Vogue, "and I can’t imagine anyone more able than Oscar to capture this mood in a dress.” Of him, Karlie Kloss said on an Instagram caption, "There is no one on earth who makes a woman feel more beautiful." And, Anna Wintour described him as "everything you could want a friend to be," in her misty-eye-making tribute.
But, what's always struck us most about Mr. de la Renta, besides a brilliant smile, sharp suits, and the ability to start every fashion show on time — trademarks of a gentleman, for sure — was the fantasy world he created on the runway. His collections invited women to feel as glamorous and elegant as they ever dreamed to be. And, he always casted a diverse lineup of models to parade his (sometimes) larger-than-life ball gowns, which helped bring the fantasy to life. Maybe we can't call him the every-woman or everyday kind of designer, but Oscar always seemed up for the task of making any woman feel truly special, happy, and powerful in his namesake label. And, that kind of mark does not fade.
In tribute, we're revisiting his greatest Fashion Week finale moments from the last nearly 20 years — the memorable impressions that come second only to Oscar's.