We’re losing all the great fashion pioneers

Legendary designer Oscar de la Renta died on 20th October after a long battle with cancer, aged 82. He was trained by Balenciaga and became well- known in the 1960s, particularly as a couturier to Jacqueline Kennedy. De la Renta also worked for Lanvin and Balmain, before launching his own label in 1965. His signature looks were rich colours and structured taffeta, and he produced absolutely show-stopping gowns.

He said: ‘fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.’ Amen to that.

Mr de la Renta’s death closely follows that of Chloe founder Gaby Aghion in September at the age of 93. She started her business (named after a girlfriend) from her Paris apartment, telling her husband ‘I’ve got to work…it’s not enough to eat lunch’. Her clothes deliberately turned away from couture stuffiness, injecting freshness, fun and ‘wearability’ into womenswear.

Hubert de Givenchy (who designed practically everything Audrey Hepburn ever wore) recently bemoaned the fact that fashion no longer had time to evolve. As fashion moves ever faster, and we lose these pioneers who really did give their ideas time to evolve, what will the future of the industry look like? I’d welcome your thoughts.



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