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The fashion world mourned the loss of one of its great designers with the passing of Oscar de la Renta on October 20. A master of tasteful extravagance, de la Renta’s garments allowed a woman to be dressed to the nines with elegance. In 2001 he was quoted in the Washington Post: “When I started designing clothes for women in the ‘60s, my typical customer got dressed in a suit and had lunch with friends. Today she’s on the list of endangered species.” U.S. first ladies from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama have entrusted Oscar de la Renta with their public image.

He was also a gentleman with older values. He never put on a pair of sneakers and right to the end he wore a jacket and tie for all public appearances. He was once quoted as saying “I don’t really know how to do casual clothes.”

From the VFG label resource (article written by

Oscar de la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic and worked in Europe during the 1950s, first for Balenciaga and then at Lanvin. In 1963 he came to the U.S. where he worked at Elizabeth Arden from 1963 through 1965. He then went to Jane Derby, where he was head designer before buying the company in 1969, changing it to his own label.

From evening gowns to peasant dresses, his clothing has always been opulent, romantic, extravagant, feminine, and even ornate. De la Renta’s simpler day wear is defined by detail.

Between 1993 and 2002, de la Renta was also Artistic Directeur for the House of Balmain.

“Being well dressed hasn’t much to do with having good clothes. It’s a question of good balance and good common sense, a knowledge of who you are and what you are.” —Oscar de la Renta

Members of the Vintage Fashion Guild have owned and offered for sale some of Oscar de la Renta’s pieces over the years. Here is a sampling of these garments. Some are still for sale, some have been sold, and some are privately owned.

1 Oscar de la Renta for Jane Derby, c. 1967, Fashion History Museum founder’s collection 2 1968 evening gown with mink trim, Couture Allure 3 MagsRags 4 Past Perfect Vintage 5 Private collection, Vintage 6 Vintage Devotion

7 Tangerine Boutique 8 Palm Beach Vintage 9 Another Time Vintage Apparel 10 Woodland Farms Vintage 11 Couture Allure 12 Viva Vintage Clothing 13 northstarvintage

14 Palm Beach Vintage 15 Viva Vintage Clothing 16 c. 1972, Fashion History Museum founder’s collection 17 Augusta Auctions 18 Pretty Sweet Vintage 19 Better Dresses Vintage

20 Palm Beach Vintage 21 Pinky-A-GoGo 22 Viva Vintage Clothing 23 Available from Woodland Farms Vintage 24 Available from Poppy’s Vintage Clothing 25 Available from Tangerine Boutique 26 Oscar de la Renta-dressed Barbie collection of Willynillyvintage

27 Poppy’s Vintage Clothing 28 Woodland Farms Vintage 29 Carla&Carla 30 denisebrain 31 EndlessAlley 32 Vintage Clothes Line 33 The Merchants of Vintage 34 Poppy’s Vintage Clothing

Top of page: Oscar de la Renta brocade caftan, previously sold by Augusta Auctions

Compiled by Amanda Legare (amandainvermont) & Maggie Wilds (denisebrain)