Most people don't know this but I have a tremendous respect for Mr. de la Renta as a person and as an artist. He has a very sincere heart ad his work is majestic, awe-striking. Oscar has been in the game for decades and after all these years has managed to stay relevant in today's fashion. He is without a doubt one of the best in the business. And one of my favorites, of course. I guess we relate in more than one way. We both love fashion, obviously. Our last names are composed of 3 words, and we both come an exotic, Spanish-speaking country. I was borne and raised in Peru and Oscar was borne in the DR (Dominican Republic).
I thought the whole interview was light and fun. The view really has a star sitting on their couch that day. One thing that I love in the beginning was Barbara's introduction. "Oscar de la Renta, rolllls off the tongue, the name along is synonymous with elegance and style. His clothes are worn from first ladies to Hollywood's hottest, I'm wearing one of them today, I'm not hot, but it looks good. He has reach the highest peak of high fashion, but he has never forgotten where he came from, please welcome my dear friend, Oscar de la Renta." Then the audience goes crazy and my heart starts jumping a little. I don't know if she wrote that, but it just sounded so causal and somewhat banal, but I thought it was heartfelt and had a sincere meaning behind it. When I first heard it, I must admit I had to play it a few times.
The conversation continued on and somebody asked him about what has happened in Haiti. It would only seemed fair that Oscar, as a dominican (for those who don't have the enough geographical knowledge, or even worse have never looked at a world map before, the Dominican Republic shares the island with Haiti) would share a few words of concern and hope. "The hurricane was obviously on the haiti(an) part of the island (he was later corrected by Barbara, that it was an earthquake). Nevertheless, of course, it's going to affect us, no question about it. We have over a million and half haitians living in the Dominican Republic, it's a human tragedy. I mean what is happening in Haiti is really horrendous and everyone that can help should help, because the smallest of help would do something."
Moreover, they also talked about his adventurous journey to Spain when he was 19 years old, on his quest to become a painter. "In my country, at that time in particular, there was not a tradition for fashion, so I was never exposed to it, until I arrived in Spain." A similar thing is happening to in Peru, we don't have the resources to produce a fabulous fashion week like the ones you see in New York or Milan, and attract international press so we could export our goods and such. Also there is not even support from the government to emerging designers nor business, it's a sad reality, but once I get to a position where I'm influential enough, I'm certainly going to develop changes for Peru to become a an emerging and affluent fashion hotspot, I can already see me talking to the then president about it, in Palacio de Gobierno (Peru's White House) and discussing about the current roadblocks Peru is facing now, and hopefully I will convince him or her, to spend more money attention to it. I know it sounds a bit delusional but I think it's possible.
Mr. de la Renta also pointed out something very true that is occurring in the world, especially in Latin America. "If I would've told my father that I wanted to be a fashion designer, he would've have dropped on the spot." After he said that, everybody sort of giggled at the comment but in reality, the situation is harsher than a few giggles and being grins. In countries were soccer and street-fighting seem to dominate the male perspective, fashion becomes something of a laughing matter, or even a joke. In many occasions, folks would almost assume that, whether it's true or not, that your sexual orientation gravitates towards the same sex, in simplest form, being gay. I'm not implying that there is anything wrong with that, but I'm convinced that levels of homophobia are sky-rocking in countries like Oscar's and mine, it's a sad and crude reality. I can only imagine what was going through his father's mind, especially those negative connotations, even worse back in those days when being gay was beyond taboo and obsolete. However, it's great and reliving to witness that the world is becoming a more understanding and welcoming place, where people are less being judged on their sexual preference but for their content of their character (did that just sounded a little Martin Luther King?). Luckily his father understood and he received the support from his mother. Then, it gets self-explanatory, he gets on a boat-ride, arrives in Spain, works with Balenciaga and the rest is history.
One of the highlights of the show was when Elizabeth, one of the cohost, talked briefly about, Mr. de la Renta's foundation called "Casa del Niño", (House of the Child) which is an orphanage and a school that supports under-privilege kids in the Dominican Republic. I just thought that was a nice thing to add to the whole thing, since most people have this perception that people who work in fashion are shallow, mean, self-centered, and egotistic and that's not true (in some cases). Furthermore, a slideshow of photos (see below) were shown of first ladies that had the privileged to wear Mr. de la Renta's gorgeous gowns. The slideshow included; Nancy Reagan, Hilary Clinton, Laura Bush and most recently Michelle Obama, for whom he said, "She always looks absolutely fabulous". There was also a separate slideshow of few celebrities he dressed in the past such as, Sarah Jessica Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Nicole Kidman, who wore a dress from his 2010 Pre-fall collection at the Sag Awards.
Now, the time that everybody was waiting for had arrived, after the break the set miraculously turned into a catwalk, in which models would later strut their stuff showcasing a few looks from Oscar's Spring/Summer 2010 collection. The first look was one of my favorites from his collection, it entailed a sequence skirt, droopy blouse with billowing sleeves and a boho bag, it just looked so effortlessly chic. Then this girl came out in this simple white little number that was suggested to be an office look. The cocktail black lace dress was a showstoper, Elisabeth said, "The way your clothing moves on a woman is gorgeous" and that was clear to see on every dress that came out. All of the sudden, out comes this red-orange strapless organza gown with a bow on the front that left most women on the audience speechless, it was orgasmic. Surprisingly, there were two weddings gowns shown, and when the second one came out Sheri shouted, "Oh my Goodness!, would somebody marry me please!?!" looked almost as if she was going to get up and fight this girl out that dress for her to try it on, too bad she wasn't going to fit in it, unless some adjustments on the bust area were done. Oscar added, "Every girl wants to get marry on a strapless dress" and commented on the fact that the bride's mother needs to step back and let the girl decide, "A bride knows exactly what she wants to wear".
At the end of the segment Barbara started doubting the future of fashion, "People say fashion is on its way out because we just fell more comfortable wearing jeans", making Whoopi place her hands on her waist and cross her legs (who by the way, was wearing an oversize black shirt, washed-out jeans and sneakers with no shoelaces. I mean, are you serious?, did she ever get the memo that Oscar de la Renta was coming?, did she even know who Oscar de la Renta is?) Oscar then replied, "We are not going to be naked, as long as we have to put something on, that's fashion. What's important is to create clothes that women would fall in love with, I mean fashion is a reflection over the time we live, and obviously look at you all, you're all dress in a very different way, you're expressing your sense of individuality." Whoopi then crosses her legs the other way and gives a "you heard the man" look at Barbara. I'm not sure Oscar would approve of Whoopi's ensemble, but is he didn't, the he sure the hell was faking it well. Elizabeth then concludes by saying, "and we are all unquietly in love and in awe of you, are such a creator."
I (heart) Mr. de la Renta