We remember the marvellous Oscar de la Renta as his stunning blue and white sunroom wins the Loves vote for Laura Bradley
In an industry that thrives on superlatives and constant upheaval, Oscar de la Renta was unique. His design career spanned more than 50 years, with stints at Balenciaga, Lanvin and Balmain couture, and he headed up his eponymous line from 1966 until his death earlier this month. He was a bastion of immaculate style – emerging at the end of every show in a suit, tie and silk pocket handkerchief. His unabashedly beautiful dresses adorned the First Ladies of America – Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama – and the first women of Hollywood. Trends were irrelevant – his clothes were worn for life’s most extraordinary moments rather than in homage to the stylistic inclinations of the season. As Vanessa Friedman wrote in her New York Times tribute, “he believed in beauty, not for beauty’s sake, but because he understood that elevating the outside could help elevate the inside”.
"Oscar believed in beauty, not for beauty’s sake, but because he understood that elevating the outside could help elevate the inside” — Vanessa Friedman
This same eye for beauty extended to interior design. He owned houses in New York, Kent, Connecticut and his native Dominican Republic, all extraordinary repositories for his lavish and yet entirely welcoming style – Elizabethan portraits on the walls, antique carpets on the floors, Norfolk terriers running amok among them. This week’s most loved post is a demonstration of de la Renta’s extravagant taste – a glimpse inside his colour-coordinated sunroom Loved by AnOthermag.com editor Laura Bradley. Explosions of willow pattern matched with geometric carpets and chinoiserie wallpaper shouldn’t really work, yet somehow we are now all inspired to start tracking down anything white and blue, and setting google alerts for china frogs. So in memory of Oscar and his inimitable style, we asked Bradley what inspired her to love this wonderful room, alongside a gallery of our favourite de la Renta moments.
Why did you love this house?
I'd seen pictures of Oscar de la Renta's beach house in Punta Cana a few years ago. He had a brilliant eye, particularly for interiors.
What would you most like to keep from the decor and where would you put it?
The gold tray table. It'd make a great 'mini bar' in my new house.
If your house was to have a key colour, what would it be and why?
White. It's clean and everything looks good with it.
What is your favourite Oscar de la Renta moment?
Keeping on the interiors theme, I love his dip dye fish jug, a spin on the traditional gluggle jug.
Which celebrity has the best house?
I can't stop thinking about James Goldstein's place, brilliantly documented in this recent film.
What is your favourite interior decoration moment on screen?
It's a tough call between Villa Necchi Campiglio in I Am Love or Patrick's pad in American Psycho.
What do you do when you feel blue?
Watch EastEnders. Nothing can be as bad as what the residents on Albert Square have to deal with.
What are you looking forward to about autumn?
Settling into my new home.