Oscar De La Renta: The Retrospective at the de Young

World premiere of late designer’s work taking place in San Francisco

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is set to premiere the exhibition Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective opening March 12 until May 30 at the de Young in the Golden Gate Park.

The new retrospective is the first of its kind dedicated to de la Renta and will showcase over 130 ensembles spanning five decades. Items created for Balmain, Jane Derby and even more recent, custom made pieces for celebrities like the Met Gala dress worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in 2014 will be on display.

Sarah Jessica Parker attends the "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Sarah Jessica Parker attends the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Curated by Andre Leon Talley, former editor at-large for American Vogue and longtime friend of de La Renta, Talley worked with the designer’s company and family to put together this celebratory retrospective. It looks like a good fit for both the Fine Arts Museums having held fashion exhibits in the past and de la Renta who originally wanted to be a painter.

His inspirations came from Russia, Spain and gardens that can be seen in both the evening and daywear pieces as well as the ingeniously designed ball gowns. The exhibit is bound to be a beautiful look back at the designer’s timeless work, some of which has been taken from public and private collections from around the world.

“The Museums’ outstanding collections, augmented by open access to our archives, all viewed through the curatorial eye of Oscar’s dear friend André Leon Talley, will convey well the unique artistry that Oscar brought to the world of fashion,” said Alex Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta in a statement about the show.

Divided into thematic categories and inspirations, there’s something from each decade to demonstrate his infinite creativity and one-of-a-kind glamourous signature. The exhibit aims to display fashion as a form of art and de la Renta, one of its greatest artists.

Born July 22, 1932 in the Dominican Republic, de la Renta started out wanting to be a painter and moved to Spain to pursue his education but soon found himself as an apprentice to Cristóbal Balenciaga. His talent led to him working for Antonio del Castillo at Lanvin and then moving to New York to design couture for Elizabeth Arden before starting his own ready to wear line. Sadly de la Renta passed away on October 20, 2014 at the age of 82 after a long battle with cancer leaving behind an extraordinary legacy for Peter Copping to continue. The retrospective pays homage to his timeless design aesthetic and the many decades he’s dedicated to fashion, a feat not many designers can claim.

Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective is a fashionable look through the history of this designer, a must-see for all, not just for the fashion lovers.

Tickets can be purchased online and start at $30, order yours ahead of time.

Written by Taisiya Vivien Moon

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