Oscar De La Renta's Most Beautiful Gowns

Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta
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We pay tribute to a fashion great with a round-up of his most fabulous designs...

Sad news this week as American fashion powerhouse, Oscar de la Renta revealed the man behind its global success had passed away aged 82.

Oscar de la Renta, real name Oscar Aristides Renta Fiallo, fell in to fashion when he was just 19. An aspiring painter from the Dominican Republic studying in Madrid, he drew clothes for newspapers and Spanish fashion houses in order to raise extra cash.

Oscar was catapulted in to the limelight when the American Ambassador's wife in Spain commissioned one of his designs for her daughter. The gown graced the cover of 'Life magazine'. Apprenticeships with Cristobel Balanciaga and Antonio del Castillo at Lanvin in Paris followed and, as they say, the rest is fashion history. He set up his eponymous label in New York in 1965.

Oscar's design aesthetic redefined red carpet dressing. He managed to take the showstopping elements of couture and combine them with the laid-back feel of ready to wear to create something new and exciting that flattered the female form.

Stylish women from around the world clamoured to be dressed by him from the off. Jacqueline Kennedy was an early fan, while Sarah Jessica Parker started her love affair with Oscar's breathtaking designs as a young actress attending premieres. His final design will go down in fashion history too - a beautiful wedding dress worn by the new Mrs Clooney of which he said: 'Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that special dress, and I try to make that dream a reality for her.'

Join us as we pay tribute to Oscar de la Renta by looking back as some of his most iconic creations...

Amy Adams, 2013

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Amy Adams, 2013

The Oscars red carpet was made for Oscar de la Renta. Here, Amy Adams causes a paparazzi stampede as she poses in pale blue tulle.

Anne Hathaway, 2009

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Anne Hathaway, 2009

The A-list had Oscar's office on speed-dial for those occasions when wowing was a must. Anne Hathaway fell for his creations early on - from a knockout LBD...

Anne Hathaway, 2013

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Anne Hathaway, 2013

...to all out sparkle in a silver beaded showstopper!

Cameron Diaz, 2010

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Cameron Diaz, 2010

Structured strapless gowns with detailing were an Oscar trademark, and no-one shone more than Cameron Diaz in this embellished number at the Oscars in 2010.

Emma Watson, 2011

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Emma Watson, 2011

Emma Watson turned to Oscar for a dress that transformed her standing from child star to fashion icon at the Harry Potter premiere in 2011. And he delivered with this beautiful ruffled floorsweeper.

Sarah Jessica Parker, 2000

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Sarah Jessica Parker, 2000

And who could forget SJP's obsession? He even had an entire episode of 'Sex and the City', in which she appeared as Carrie Bradshaw, written in his honour!

Claire Danes

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Claire Danes

A night at the Met celebrating couturier Charles James earlier this year called for something special. Cue Claire Danes walking the carpet in Oscar.

Sarah Jessica Parker, 2005

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Sarah Jessica Parker, 2005

You're turning forty and have designers fighting to dress you. Who do you commission to create one of the decades most talked about party frocks? Oscar de la Renta of course!

Halle Berry, 2002

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Halle Berry, 2002

Monochrome made premiere-worthy with standout embrodiery for Bond girl, Halle.

Ivanka Trump, 2014

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Ivanka Trump, 2014

Oscar was the toast of the New York set. He spent weekends on Long Island with Manhattan's socialites including the Trumps. A favourite with First Ladies too, Hillary Clinton has often referred to her 'Oscars' - the dresses he created just for her.

Jessica Chastain, 2011

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Jessica Chastain, 2011

Oscar could do pared down too. His simple yet elegant design for Jessics Chastain at 'The Help' premiere made all the best dressed lists.

Jessica Chastain, 2012

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Jessica Chastain, 2012

As her career gained momentum with a BAFTA nomination, Jessica turned to Oscar once again to help her make an entrance at the glitzy ceremony in London.

Sarah Jessica Parker, 2014

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Sarah Jessica Parker, 2014

Sarah Jessica Parker responded to the news of her dear friend's passing with this heartfelt tribute: 'It was an enormous privilege to be dressed by Mr. de la Renta for so many occasions over the last 15 years', she said. 'And especially meaningful to collaborate with him for this year's Met Gala. I will always be grateful that he allowed me to honour him by embroidering his name in scarlet on the hem of his glorious dress. He was an inspiration and a man like no other.'

Taylor Swift, 2014

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Taylor Swift, 2014

Musician Taylor Swift also tweeted her respects. 'My all-time favourite designer has passed away', she said. 'It was an honour to wear his creations.'

Jessica Pare, 2013

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Jessica Pare, 2013

Oscar once said: 'There is no sound more feminine than a woman in a taffeta dress.' Mad Men actress, Jessica Pare had her de la Renta moment at the 2013 Emmy's as she walked the carpet in the designer's favourite fabric.

Karlie Kloss, 2014

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Karlie Kloss, 2014

Modelling is an expensive game, especially when you become hooked on Oscar's amazing designs like Karlie Kloss!

Kate Hudson, 2009

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Kate Hudson, 2009

Oscar wanted to dress confident women who had their own sense of style, just like Kate Hudson who stepped out in a fishtail frock for the 'Bride Wars' premiere.

Sandra Bullock, 2004

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Sandra Bullock, 2004

He also wasn't afraid to have fun with fashion, which set him apart from many of his contemporaries. Sandra Bullock's white strappy Oscars gown was given an injection of personality with a matching fur trim.

Penelope Cruz, 2011

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Penelope Cruz, 2011

Proving a gorgeous black gown really is the ultimate style statement, Penelope Cruz accompanied Oscar to the Met for their Costume Institute Gala in honour of Alexander McQueen wearing one of his most elegant creations.

Nicole Kidman, 2013

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Nicole Kidman, 2013

Nude with a black lace overlay isn't the easiest style to pull off, but Nicole Kidman manages it with aplomb thanks to Oscar!

Michelle Williams, 2011

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Michelle Williams, 2011

Michelle is renowned for taking high street staples and making them look high fashion. But, when she really wants to impress, she'll opt for de la Renta.

Lupita Nyong'o, 2014

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Lupita Nyong'o, 2014

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Oscar is that he believed in style over fashion. While trends came and went, he carried on doing his own thing. That's what made his gowns, just like Lupita's polka dot print peplum floorsweeper, so timeless.

Liv Tyler, 2008

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Liv Tyler, 2008

Black may have featured heavily in his collections but Oscar loved colour. Liv Tyler looked resplendent in red de la Renta when the fashion world raised a glass to fellow designer, Valentino in 2008.

Sarah Jessica Parker, 2014

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Sarah Jessica Parker, 2014

Perhaps his biggest fan, just months before de la Renta's death SJP showed her devotion once again in one of our favourite ensembles - a fit and flare fifties style prom dress and clashing print mac. Oscar, you will be missed.