Blockbuster fashion

Blockbuster fashion exhibition saluting Oscar de la Renta is headed to Houston

Blockbuster salute to Oscar de la Renta is headed to Houston museum

Oscar de la Renta, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,  February 2013
Oscar de la Renta acknowledged the crowd's applause after his 2013 fashion show in New York. Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Eliza Bolen at Bayou Bend Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta's daughter, Eliza Bolen, is expected to attend the opening of the retrospective to her father at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Photo by Jenny Antill Clifton
News_Best Dressed luncheon_Laura Sweeney_Brittany Sakowitz_Oscar de la Renta_Noelle Sakowitz
Oscar de la Renta posed with Laura Sweeney, Brittany Sakowitz, and Noelle Sakowitz when he was featured at the Best Dressed Luncheon in Houston in 2010. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Shelby, MFAH gala gowns, Oct. 2015 Lynn Wyatt in Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta has long been a favorite of Houston's society set. Lynn Wyatt wore a de la Renta gown to the Museum of Fine Arts Gala in 2015. © Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
News-The September Issue-Anne Wintour-Andre Leon Talley
André Leon Talley, pictured here with Vogue editor Anna Wintour, is curating the Oscar de la Renta exhibition in Houston.
Clinton Foundation Oscar de la Renta exhibit Oscar de la Renta with cane
Oscar de la Renta attended an exhibition in his honor at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock in 2013. Photo courtesy of Oscar de la Renta and The Clinton Foundation
Oscar de la Renta, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,  February 2013
Eliza Bolen at Bayou Bend Oscar de la Renta
News_Best Dressed luncheon_Laura Sweeney_Brittany Sakowitz_Oscar de la Renta_Noelle Sakowitz
News, Shelby, MFAH gala gowns, Oct. 2015 Lynn Wyatt in Oscar de la Renta
News-The September Issue-Anne Wintour-Andre Leon Talley
Clinton Foundation Oscar de la Renta exhibit Oscar de la Renta with cane

The work of one of America's greatest fashion designers will be front and center this fall in a major retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta, which opens October 8, will celebrate the life and six-decade career of the famed fashion designer, featuring 90 ensembles, including chic daywear as well as spectacular evening and bridal gowns he was known for.

The exhibition, curated by noted fashion writer André Leon Talley, a close friend of the designer, will draw from de la Renta's corporate and personal archives, as well as the archives of the French label Pierre Balmain, where de la Renta served as chief designer between 1993 and 2002; private lenders; and the MFAH costume collection.

The historic overview highlights such varied influences on de la Renta's work as Spanish flamenco dancers, Russian literature, and his beloved Connecticut garden as well as his role as the go-to designer for many of the most influential and celebrated personalities of the 20th and 21st centuries, including former first ladies Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan, and Laura Bush, and a host of Hollywood stars and society titans.

Talley, who has authored Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style, previously was involved in exhibitions at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2015 and at the de Young Museum in San Francisco last year highlighting de la Renta's illustrious career. Organizers say the Houston exhibition will be different as Talley is working with Cindi Strauss, the MFAH Sara and Bill Morgan Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft and Design, and fashion historians Molly Sorkin and Jennifer Park, as well as officials at Oscar de la Renta LLC to present a unique perspective on the designer, who died in 2014.

“He was the ultimate romantic, and every dress made a woman feel the most beautiful she could ever possibly feel,” Talley told Vanity Fair magazine before the de Young show debuted. "And for those who knew him, you [also] wore him because you loved him.”

The exhibition will also serve as the theme for the museum's annual Grand Gala Ball on October 6. De la Renta's daughter, Eliza Bolen, and her husband, Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen, are expected to attend, along with the label's new designers, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia. 

The exhibition will run through January 28, 2018, in the museum's Audrey Jones Beck Building.

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