When news broke last night that Oscar de la Renta had died, it left an instant hole in the fashion world. And not just because he was a globally known designer. There's something about de la Renta's clothing that brings out the very best in the women who wear it — and lots of famous ladies, from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Taylor Swift, have long been among his most devoted customers.
On the runway, in particular, de la Renta managed to talk to women of all stripes by making the most richly beautiful versions of the things they really need: suits that are professional and playful, coats that are warm and whimsical, and gowns that inspire envy wherever they appear. The designer's love of classic proportions has long rivaled his passion for decoration, which means his collections often blend midcentury shapes, lots of embellishments, and plenty of colorful spirit.
We know we haven't seen the last of Oscar de la Renta on the runway, but for now, we're taking pause to look back at his work.