Fashion design icon brings his home to your home
Since his days dressing Jackie Kennedy, designer Oscar de la Renta has adorned high fashion-minded celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker, classy, sassy dames like Tina Fey and funky recording artists like Rihanna. But lately the name so popular with red carpet couture has graced the fashion pages less for who flaunted Oscar’s styles at the Oscars and more for glamorizing shelter.
In January, de la Renta opened the largest of his brand’s 14 worldwide stores near London’s Berkeley Square. A grand opening set for spring follows the expansion of his Madison Avenue flagship store, which once completed, will be slightly larger than the new 3,000-square-foot shop overseas. After going big in London, the next abode for his alluring designs is set to open in Atlanta this year.
As de la Renta’s new store raised sales among Brit shoppers, a recent guest at his studio raised eyebrows. In January and February, he opened his New York design studio to John Galliano, Dior’s dishonored former couturier. Shunned from the fashion world two years ago after an anti-Semitic outburst, Galliano may be attempting a comeback through sanctuary within de la Renta’s open door.
“Everyone in life deserves a second chance, especially someone as talented as John,” de la Renta told women’s fashion publication WWD. “I think that life is about forgiving and helping people.”
The move, lauded by the Anti-Defamation League, also spurred speculation that the 80-year-old designer may be seeking a successor – a rumor de le Renta quickly dismissed. Instead, this month he’s busy releasing a new line of premier home goods, the Oscar de la Renta Island Gift and Entertaining Collection, set to furnish fine affairs from coast to coast.
The line of 70 luxury mix-and-match pieces creates lush environments inspired by the chic island living of his native Dominican Republic. Earthen dinnerware, carved-handled flatware, hand-blown glassware and picturesque platters stun in a palette of indigo and ivory with abundant texture, hits of teak and zests of red. Hand-painted plates replicate brushstrokes from de la Renta’s own hand, and linen designs are taken from a 1970s’ resort-wear print from the designer’s archive. Sculptural and functional items like the Dip Dye Fish Water Jug transform entertaining environments, while an unexpected accessory accompanies serving pieces – a recipe from de la Renta’s kitchen.
“Mr. de la Renta is taking his signature elements of bold patterns, vivid color and elegant styling from the runway to your home, inviting you to set a table that is just as stylish as your wardrobe,” says Emily Hull-Martin, fashion director for home at Bloomingdale’s White Plains.
The chance for haute hosts to adorn their tables in the designer’s finery doesn’t stop with his Dominican-inspired collection. His country home in Kent, Conn. influenced the upcoming summer 2013 line, and new iterations will launch twice a year based on various geographies and lifestyles.
In April, Westchester welcomes de la Renta not just in product, but in person. The designer will trek to our home turf for his April 25 fashion show, a gala event in partnership with Mary Jane Denzer that celebrates the 120th anniversary of White Plains Hospital. Look for the designer in next month’s WAG and spot him – plus his designs – in our own backyard at the benefit.