By Nadine Kam
"Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective" on view at the de Young Museum of Fine Arts in San Fransisco, celebrates the work of the designer who was born in the Dominican Republic, trained in Spain, and made his career in the United States, until his death on Oct. 20, 2014, at the age of 82.
The world premiere exhibition, curated by André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for Vogue magazine, includes 120 ensembles, curated from the best museums in the United States, and his friends, family and clients.
The designer was born Oscar Arístides Renta Fiallo in the Dominican Republic and trained with Spanish designers Cristóbal Balenciaga and Lanvin designer Antonio del Castillo.
After moving to the United States to create ready-to-wear fashion in the early 1960s, he made his name as by dressing First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. In addition to designing for his own eponymous brand, he designed the haute couture collection for Balmain between 1993 and 2002.
The exhibition covers five decades of de la Renta fashion, but instead of being organized chronologically, it is organized by themes, showing how Spanish influences in his life were consistently reflected in his work. Other galleries reflect a fascination with Asia, a love of gardens, and his popularity with New York society, celebrities and heads of state over decades. He dressed everyone from Audrey Hepburn and Liza Minnelli to Rihanna and Taylor Swift, and the show closes with some of his red carpet creations.
Beyond fashion, a video gallery screens mini docs about the designer, including his desire to give back to his home country, by opening schools and orphanages to help disadvantaged children.
Tickets for the Oscar de la Renta exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco start at $30 per person, including general admission. Discounts available for seniors, students and youth. Free for ages 5 and younger. Premium tickets are also available. The museum is in Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. Open 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, through May 30.