About This Project





Julian Raby, The Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sachler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art and Mazza Gallerie will present a special book signing and talk with author Andre Leon Talley, Editor at Large of Vogue Magazine as he debuts his newest book, Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style.  Pulitzer Prize award– winning fashion critic Robin Givhan will join Mr. Talley on stage for a spirited conversation about the life and work of Mr. de la Renta.  The evening will be full of haute surprises including the presentation of the Oscar de la Renta Fall /Winter 2015/2016 collection in conjunction with Neiman Marcus, Mazza Gallerie.


“Oscar’s spirit lives on—in the incredible house he founded; in those who knew him and who benefitted from his acts of generosity, love, and friendship; and in his vision, which was, and remains, so vibrant, so beautiful, so elegant and optimistic”—Anna Wintour, from the Foreword


In October 2014 the fashion world lost a treasured luminary in Oscar de la Renta whose passing was mourned not only devotees of his couture and ready to wear, but by his many dear friends and colleagues—in and out of the fashion business—and, of course, his beloved family.


In a career that spanned six decades, the acclaimed fashion designer, renowned for his old-world charm, impeccable taste, and celebrated lifestyle, dressed first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama, and celebrities from Beyoncé and Sarah Jessica Parker to Oprah, Aerin Lauder, and Huma Abedin, who penned an appreciation included in the book. De la Renta enjoyed an especially close relationship with Anna Wintour, and was honored to design the gown for her son Charlie’s bride Elizabeth Cordry when they married in June 2014, and, as a grace note to a glittering career, designed the gown that Amal Alamuddin wore to wed George Clooney.


Born in the Dominican Republic in 1932, de la Renta left for Madrid at nineteen to study art, where he rose to prominence as a sketch artist for newspapers and fashion houses. From his apprenticeship under Cristóbal Balenciaga to his eponymous collections, de la Renta applied the highest standards of French couture to his work. With classic lines elevated with luxurious materials and perhaps a dramatic Flamenco-inspired flourish that reflected his deep connection to his roots, de la Renta was committed to crafting garments in which women famously felt confident, beautiful and comfortable.


André Leon Talley, a SCAD Trustee and close personal friend of the designer, was the perfect person to mount this tribute exhibition in the SCAD Museum galleries bearing his name and, in this book, Talley traces the breadth of de la Renta’s career through nearly seventy iconic dresses, primarily created for private clients, accompanied by evocative stories of the superb craftsmanship and the legendary friends who brought each gown to life.


Experiencing the show in person, with its impeccably curated survey of the designer’s oeuvre, exquisitely and simply presented, is a rich experience, but for Oscar fans who are unable to make it to SCAD, this book provides an absorbing and intimate way to study the dresses, gowns, and tailleur at one’s leisure, and will stand as an essential reference on Oscar de la Renta’s work for decades to come.