Fashion Heroes: Oscar de la Renta

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d already know that Oscar de la Renta will be the closing show at this year’s Audi Fashion Festival. The New York-based fashion house will be showcasing its fall/winter 2014 collection at the Tent@Takashimaya this Sunday.

But while the designer himself won’t be taking a bow at the end of the runway presentation, his collection of elegant, red carpet-ready looks will no doubt be a spectacle. 

Born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, the 81-year-old fashion maestro cut his teeth in the ateliers of legendary couturiers Cristobal Balenciaga and Lanvin’s Antonio Castillo in the early 1950s in Madrid. Shortly after, the young de la Renta bought himself a ticket to Paris and knocked on the biggest door he could find. That door happened to open to the world of Christian Dior, where he was offered a job following the departure of the house’s celebrated designer Yves Saint Laurent. 

But a key piece of advice from the late Diana Vreeland, former editor-in-chief of Vogue and one of de la Renta’s loyal supporters, would take him to a different course - one that would ultimately led him to build his own brand.  It was to leave Christian Dior and work for Elizabeth Arden instead. If he had stayed, Vreeland cautioned, he will always be eclipsed by the name of Christian Dior. 

Hillary Clinton, Jacky Kennedy, Michelle Obama three American first lady wearing Oscar de La Renta

Since launching his eponymous label in 1965, he has since been known for his couture-like ready-to-wear pieces. He is also known as a personal couturier to style icon and former first lady of America, Jacqueline Kennedy. He would later also dress Hillary Clinton during her tenure as the American first lady.

With a career that spans over four decades, his wares continue to be popular amongst Upper East Side princesses, red carpet starlets as well as international royalty. Some of his celebrity fans include Halle Berry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams. 

And while the gorgeous gowns are covetable, what we also love is his simple ethos to style. According to Oscar de la Renta, a woman must be in love with the clothes she is wearing and this is something we at THE FIFTH COLLECTION truly believe in. 

After all, we love receiving all the fabulous frocks and exquisite accessories and hopefully find them a new home in one of your wonderfully curated wardrobes.