Talk about a grand exit. If anyone knew how to make one, it was late great designer Oscar de la Renta.
Even while dying of cancer in 2014, de la Renta was debonair, charming and cheerful, clad in elegant and pressed silk pajama and robe. “He could’ve had a dinner party there for a king and queen and he wouldn’t be out of place,” recalls Houston philanthropist Lynn Wyatt.
But has the dapper designer truly left us? Never. His brand lives on, astutely run by stepdaughter Eliza and her husband, Alex Bolen. Co-creative directors and head designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia also trained at Oscar’s side.
And now comes a new exhibit: “The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta” Oct. 8 – Jan. 28, 2018 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It even has a strong hometown slant, with gowns worn by locals Wyatt, Beyonce, Carolyn Farb, Elyse Lanier, Dr. Yvonne Cormier and Margaret Alkek Williams.
Finely styled by former Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley, this is no musty retrospective. Mannequins seem to be gossiping, taking breaks on benches or roaming de la Renta’s beloved Kent, Conn., garden – while wearing timeless ball gowns with tremendous trains.
“It’s like walking through a movie,” says CEO Alex Bolen. “It has that kind of drama.”
Don’t consider this fashion show a curtain call for de la Renta. Rather, it’s a testament to his enduring artistry.