André Leon Talley honors late designer Oscar de la Renta in SCAD exhibit

André Leon Talley honors late designer Oscar de la Renta in SCAD exhibit

Famed fashion icon André Leon Talley has already curated various exhibitions at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), so choosing him to honor the work of his personal friend, the late fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, was a natural decision.

 

Beaded silk tulle wedding gown loaned by political staffer Huma Abedin (scad.edu)

Beaded silk tulle wedding gown loaned by political staffer Huma Abedin to the exhibit (scad.edu)

Talley’s personal friendship with de la Renta made the project an emotional and challenging one, as he sought to create more than a simple retrospective of the designer’s work. Rather, Talley hoped to create an exhibit that would showcase de la Renta’s fashion craftsmanship while simultaneously telling a deeper story about how de la Renta’s designs and his influence as a designer left an impression on all those with whom he knew and worked.

 

The exhibit, “Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style,” features 50 stunning and original looks. From dresses worn by Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton on the pages of Vogue to Met Gala gowns worn by Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey, Talley compiled a collection of some of de la Renta’s most memorable looks from major events and fashion spreads alike.

 

Embroidered and sequined gown worn by Nicole Kidman to the 2010 SAG awards loaned by the actress to the exhibit (scad.edu)

Embroidered and sequined gown worn by Nicole Kidman to the 2010 SAG awards, loaned by the actress to the exhibit (scad.edu)

The most significant looks in the collection, however, are essential to the exhibit not because of their design, but because of their history. Several women from de la Renta’s life contributed personal garments to be showcased in the exhibit. The wedding gown worn by de la Renta’s step-daughter, the coat and jacket worn by his wife to her daughter’s wedding, the coat worn by former First Lady Laura Bush to the 2005 Presidential Inauguration — these are just a few of the pieces that have come together in Savannah to celebrate de la Renta’s legacy as a designer. Meanwhile, the exhibit manages to highlight the personal essence of each piece for the woman to whom it belongs, and to tell the story of de la Renta’s career through his work on an emotional level that allows it connect with all audiences.

 

“Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style” is open now through May 3 at SCAD Museum of Art.


Why do you think it’s important for André Leon Talley’s exhibit to celebrate Oscar de la Renta’s work on an emotional level in addition to a design level? Do you think that showcasing the emotional and historical significance of each piece can impact how the public connects with the late designer’s work, legacy, and brand? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi

Tamara Rahoumi

Tamara Rahoumi is a third-culture kid of Egyptian descent who was born and raised in New Jersey. She loves experiencing new things, and is in a constant state of wanderlust. She has spent a year studying in Switzerland and another teaching in Albania. Tamara graduated from Rutgers University, where she studied political science and cultural anthropology. She reports on a variety of stories for MUIPR. Follow Tamara on twitter @tamarahoumi.

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