Oscar de la Renta Retrospective
- Author: Jennifer Park and Molly Sorkin with André Leon Talley
- Published by: The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and DelMonico Books
- 279 pages
- Accompanying Exhibition: The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta Dates of Exhibition: 4/29/2018 - 8/19/2018 About the Exhibition: Presented in collaboration with Oscar de la Renta, LLC and the designer’s family, the exhibition features approximately 50 ensembles sourced from de la Renta’s personal archives, the archives of French label Pierre Balmain, private lenders, and the Mint’s collection. It is curated by André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for American Vogue magazine, current contributing editor, and lifelong friend of the designer, with assistance by fashion historians Molly Sorkin and Jennifer Park. This exhibition follows previous Talley-curated exhibitions in San Francisco and Houston, but is customized for Charlotte. From the start of his award-winning career, which spanned more than five decades and two continents, Oscar de la Renta set out to design beautiful clothes for every occasion in a woman’s life. The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta highlights recurring themes throughout his career, including the influence of the garden on his designs; Spanish influences; and Eastern European influences. The creations on view offer a window into de la Renta’s world through a range of looks, from elegant daywear to resplendent evening gowns. The exhibition also pays tribute to Marianna Sheridan of Charlotte, who befriended de la Renta and became the first archivist for Oscar de la Renta LLC. It’s all part of the “ Year of Fashion ,” a three-exhibition series celebrating an art form the Mint has collected for more than 40 years. About the Catalog: Published on the occasion of a major retrospective exhibition at the de Young, Oscar de la Renta (book) is the first historical survey of the designer's illustrious career, which spanned more than five decades and two continents. Oscar de la Renta (American, b. Dominican Republic, 1932-2014) dressed women for all facets of life, from day to evening, and his work is admired by generations of the world's most discerning arbiters of style. His clothes are renowned for their modern sensibility, romantic artistry, and impeccable workmanship that elevate his designs to the highest tier of international fashion. De la Renta applied sumptuous textiles, intricate embellishments, and embroideries to his fashions, often drawing inspiration from European history. He referenced both the extravagant court of eighteenth-century France through his use of resplendent floral brocades, and the imposing legacy of the Golden Age of Spanish art with designs exemplifying the exaggerated dress silhouettes found in its royal portraiture. Moreover, throughout his career de la Renta looked to the art of diverse cultures to feed his imagination, including the embroideries of Chinese and Indian textiles, complex ikat patterns of Uzbek and Kazakh cloths, colorful Japanese woodblock prints, and opulent fabrics and ornamentation found in traditional Russian dress. He also understood the clothing needs of contemporary women, from First Ladies to socialites and from Hollywood stars to fashion insiders, and he dressed his multigenerational list of clients in elegant daywear and stunning evening gowns. Three essays contextualize the designer's achievement through the latter part of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Molly Sorkin traces Oscar de la Renta's life and how it influenced his artistic output. Jennifer Park reveals the designer's influence on fashion photography and the modern woman. And André Leon Talley shares personal glimpses into his working relationship and friendship with the artist. Oscar de la Renta (book) further outlines the major themes of the designer's career through a lavish gallery of images drawn from the designers sketches, documents from the Oscar de la Renta archives, runway and backstage shots, and photography from fashion magazines, including works by Richard Avedon, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Annie Leibovitz, Craig McDean, Steven Meisel, Irving Penn, Mario Testino and Bruce Weber. Featuring exemplary garments from throughout the artist's oeuvre, this volume offers copious views into Oscar de la Renta's process, art and career.