Oscar de la Renta Exhibit: Five Decades of Style

This past weekend my mom and I got to check out the Oscar de la Renta exhibit at the Bush Library in Dallas. I had never been to the museum before and it is very nice – I highly recommend it. I was a fashion major in school so I love exhibits that focus on style. I am lucky enough to have seen two other exhibits like this: one about Alexander McQueen and one about John Paul Galliano. They were exceptional and the de la Renta exhibit was too!

A little background about this amazing designer. Born  in the Dominican Republic, he started designing in the 60’s. His homeland greatly influences him from using bright colors to white cotton dresses. He has dressed Jackie Kennedy and many other first ladies. He has designed for Lanvin and Balmain and has won many awards. De la Renta’s designs are beautiful and timeless – see for yourself below. This exhibit ends on Oct 5 so if you’re in the Dallas area hurry up and go! There was no glass surrounding the dresses so you could get up close and see every stitch and detail. It was AMAZING! Here are just some of the many beautiful designs I saw.

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First Lady Laura Bush wore both of the designs on the left. There is intricate beading on the dress. The coat and dress are made of wool, and there is a knotted design on the edges of both. A simple grosgain bow completes the look. The third dress is much more dramatic with feathers – it is an amazing sight in person.

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Taylor Swift wore the dress on the left to this years Met Fashion Institute Gala. It is something I would never have expected her to wear as it looks older like from the 50’s. The pink color is gorgeous and it has beads and sequins all over it. And a HUGE bow in the back.

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The two dresses on the left are inspired by Spain – de la Renta lived there for a while. Karlie Kloss wore the dress on the far left to the Met Costume Institute Gala this year. It is amazing – the fabric has a flowery brocade pattern with a gold metallic sheen over the black. It then has gold lacquered feathers applied in an ornate pattern on top.

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This dress was inspired by the French and totally looks like something Marie Antoinette would wear. Here’s Kirsten Dunst in one of my favorite movies rocking a fantastic wig.

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This is Jenna Bush’s actual wedding dress! It is no much more gorgeous in person – it is COVERED in beautiful beading and intricate embroidery. It has a great fluted skirt and not a very long train. The teal dress on the right is also the one Laura Bush wore to the wedding. I love the cut and color on her.

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The gorgeous dress on left was worn by Carrie Underwood at this years American Country Music awards – it is all hand beaded in the most interesting undulating design. It was seriously stunning!!! The dress on the right is covered in silver and gold sequins – it would make a great prom dress!

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Amy Adams wore this silver stunner to this years MET gala – and she looks amazing! It’s such a beautiful and flattering design and made of the most gorgeous buttery silk. I just wanted to touch it…but of course I didn’t.

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The beautiful black gown was worn by former first lady Nancy Regan.

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OK Mrs. Bush looks straight up fabulous in this beaded gown at a State dinner. I LOVE the pop of turquoise with a belt! There is also a gorgeous day skirt suit on the right which she wore to meet the Queen. Such a feminine collar that also looks pretty regal.

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This is my second favorite dress in the entire collection and I think it’s from the 1960’s. It was a great brocade fabric with frog closures on the coat. I like that the exhibit was arranged with dresses from all different decades – it was more grouped by style or theme. These dresses had an oriental feel.


This was by far my favorite dress in the exhibit. That hot pink silk is a fantastic color for one, and two the silver design is so beautiful! I would wear this in a heartbeat. This was from his Fall 2013 RTW collection. That lucky lucky model.

Overall I thought this collection was a fabulous representation of an American icon designer. Clearly it’s not something you get to see everyday – it was an extremely special experience getting to see his designs in person. I highly recommend that you check it out! The rest of the Bush Library and Museum is great too.


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