The Dream Maker

De­signer Os­car de la Renta’s in­nate un­der­stand­ing of what brides want trans­lates into ex­quis­ite bridal gowns fit for a fairy­tale

Malaysia Tatler Wedding - - CON­TENTS - BY ELIS­A­BETH GALVIN

An ex­clu­sive in­side look at the late Os­car de la Renta’s un­der­stand­ing on what women want in their dream wed­ding gowns

Amer­ica’s great and good from Hil­lary Clin­ton to Ralph Lau­ren queued up to at­tend the fu­neral of Os­car de la Renta, who died in Oc­to­ber at age 82 after a long bat­tle with can­cer. One of the world’s most cel­e­brated fash­ion de­sign­ers, De la Renta is known for his ro­man­tic, fem­i­nine and glam­orous de­signs. But he will per­haps be most acutely missed for the ex­quis­ite bridal wear he cre­ated over just eight years that was based on an in­tu­itive grasp of the sig­nif­i­cance of the wed­ding day.

“Any girl from any walk of life dreams of that spe­cial dress, and I try to make that dream a re­al­ity for her,” De la Renta once said. “I have al­ways felt that my role as a de­signer is to make a woman feel her very best. A wed­ding gown will live for gen­er­a­tions in pho­to­graphs.”

As­tound­ing artistry

“Os­car de la Renta un­der­stood that it is the bride who makes the dress beau­ti­ful. His gowns are de­signed to en­hance the fe­male fea­tures and form,” says Ce­cile Chen, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Hong Kong’s ex­clu­sive stock­ist, Trin­ity Bridal Hong Kong.

De la Renta di­ver­si­fied into bridal wear in 2006 and his col­lec­tion also in­cludes veils, shoes, fash­ion jew­ellery and bags. To en­sure a per­fect fit, each gown has a built-in corset that is hand­made by seam­stresses at De la Renta’s New York stu­dio—some of whom have worked for him for more than 40 years.

“Em­broi­dery and ap­pliqués are hand sewn and each gown is thrice qual­ity checked,” says Chen, adding that em­broi­dered gowns are the most pop­u­lar. “His thread work and bead­ing are so mas­ter­fully put to­gether and won­der­fully unique.”

Peren­nial favourite

Ac­tress Kate Bos­worth wore an Os­car de la Renta gown for her wed­ding day. But per­haps the de­signer’s most fa­mous dress was to be his last. Less than a month be­fore he died, one of the world’s most an­tic­i­pated brides, Amal Ala­mud­din, be­came Mrs Ge­orge Clooney wear­ing a cream be­spoke gown with a spec­tac­u­lar, sweep­ing cir­cu­lar train. The ro­man­tic cre­ation fea­tured two lay­ers of tulle with 14 yards of Chan­tilly lace that had been es­pe­cially flown in from France. The bodice was hand-em­broi­dered with pearls and dia­mantes and the slightly off-the-shoul­der straps gave the A-line style a de­mure look.

In her ro­man­tic com­edy 27 Dresses, ac­tress Kather­ine Heigl wore a plethora of fussy, fancy

and frilly brides­maids frocks. But there was only one de­signer she cared to wear for her own wed­ding to Josh Kel­ley at Christ­mas in 2007. Heigl’s gown was stun­ning and unique: a for­mal, fit­ted style con­trasted with over­sized ruf­fle de­tail at the neck and shoul­ders. This sort of orig­i­nal touch is what makes De la Renta’s gowns stand out and the magic of Os­car de la Renta will live for­ever through the hap­pi­ness he gave to brides around the world, on one of the most im­por­tant days of their lives.

Lat­est looks

Os­car de la Renta’s Bridal 2015 col­lec­tion, the last to be shown be­fore his death, is full of va­ri­ety.

The col­lec­tion stood out for its imag­i­na­tive de­tail at the neck­line. The Char­lotte gown fea­tures gos­samer-light fab­ric swathed across the shoul­ders to form barely-there full-length gloves. An­other gown stood out for its boa-like feath­ers that formed strik­ing off-the-shoul­der straps. The del­i­cate pearlised print and bead em­broi­dery of the Camilla gown dec­o­rate the shoul­ders beau­ti­fully. The neck­line of the Cor­nelia is given a for­mal look by tulle caraco em­broi­dered with white thread­work, while the Chan­tilly lace of the Co­lette gown high­lights the dé­col­letage.

In a clever use of ac­ces­sories, a sleeve­less, ivory duchess satin trum­pet gown is dec­o­rated at the bust with a crys­tal and white pearl bow broach, and com­ple­ment­ing crys­tal and pearl ear­rings.

In con­trast to the long pieces, the Cather­ine gown is cut above the knee and is de­scribed as a white silk faille dress with em­broi­dered or­ganza bodice and sleeves. In sync, a white crin­kle tulle veil is worn very short at the back of the head.

Two gowns in par­tic­u­lar en­cap­su­late De la Renta’s ro­man­tic vi­sion. The Clara is a white silk ball gown with taffeta origami em­broi­dery that show­cases the de­signer’s el­e­gant style, while the Con­stance is stun­ning in its sim­plic­ity: an ivory radz­imir trum­pet gown with a dra­matic bus­tle at the back.

Os­car de la Renta started mak­ing bridal wear in 2006, and the col­lec­tion in­cluded veils, shoes, fash­ion jew­ellery and bags

A gown from the Bridal Fall 2015 col­lec­tion fea­tures a ro­man­tic look with its blend of Chan­tilly and Lyon lace

Each gown has a built-in corset hand­made at De la Renta’s New York stu­dio

The Clara gown from the Bridal 2015 col­lec­tion

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