"Clothes are about ornamentation. That’s what catches the eye,” the late Oscar de la Renta told InStyle in 2007. And over the course of five decades in the fashion industry, the influential designer did much more than catch our eye as he outfitted everyone from Hillary Clinton to Sarah Jessica Parker in his elaborate creations.
Now, the de Young Museum is honoring de la Renta’s life and career with the exhibit, "Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective." Curated by André Leon Talley, a close friend of the designer, the exhibition features over 130 ensembles that detail de la Renta’s rise to fashion fame from Spain. Starting with his early work, pieces are organized by influences (Spanish, Eastern, Russian, garden), daywear and eveningwear.
And since he is best known for his detailed and feminine evening gowns, some of the designer's most memorable red carpet moments will also be on display, including looks worn by Penélope Cruz (above), Amy Adams, and Taylor Swift.
"Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective" is open now through May 30, 2016 at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Can’t make it to the exhibit? Check out the 12 most amazing Oscar de la Renta dresses from the retrospective below.
1. Summer 1967
Yellow cotton and synthetic matelassé dress with metallic ribbon and bead appliqué.
2. Fall 1968
Black silk crepe cocktail dress with white satin, galloon edging, and bead embellishment.
3. Summer 1982
Hand-painted silk crepe de chine caftan.
4. Fall 1999
Oscar de la Renta for Pierre Balmain black silk velvet evening dress with white silk embroidery and appliqué.
5. December 2002
Former First Lady Hillary Clinton in a printed chiné silk taffeta evening dress and wrap.
6. January 2005
Former First Lady Laura Bush, with President George W. Bush, in a white Oscar de la Renta day ensemble.
7. Fall 2005
Gold silk net evening dress with sequin embroidery.
8. Resort 2012
White silk faille evening dress with red and green silk embroidery and appliqué.
9. February 2013
Amy Adams at the 2013 Oscars in a pale blue silk tulle evening gown.
10. Fall 2013
The designer at his fall 2013 show with models in silk faille evening dresses with metallic embroidery.
11. Fall 2013
Printed silk velvet coat with a fox fur trim over a colorblock dress.
12. May 2014
Sarah Jessica Parker at the Met Gala in a duchesse satin and velvet evening dress with "Oscar de la Renta" signature.