An Ode to Oscar: Fashion Legend, Jewelry Connoisseur

“A woman makes an outfit her own with accessories” – Oscar de la Renta

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Monday evening the fashion legend and cultural icon Oscar de la Renta passed away at the age of 82 due to complications of cancer which he had been fighting for the past eight years. Resilient, innovative and unabashedly elegant, Mr. de la Renta helped reclaim and redefine the glamor and allure of American fashion. Revered as the man who dressed everyone from the “ladies who lunch” to political icons and celebrities like Nancy Reagan and most recently Amal Alamuddin, de la Renta had a zest for life and a penchant for people.

From his early beginnings working with the famed Cristobal Balenciaga to his last S/S 2015 show featuring his ravishingly regal gowns, Mr. de la Renta was one of the few designers who celebrated the splendor of jewelry – in almost all of his shows. In honor of Mr. de la Renta, below is a chronological style guide decoding some of the designer’s masterfully bejeweled creations throughout his career.

Beginning with his ladylike and cosmopolitan silhouettes for Elizabeth Arden in the early 1960s, the designer love styling his models with shimmering shoulder dusters and baubled brooches.

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Even when receiving the Coty Award in 1973, the Mr. de la Renta kept his clean-lined, Mod style playful with enameled bangles and half hoops curled under Russian-style fur hats.

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A true American designer, Mr. de la Renta also licensed his name out to Vogue patterns to spread the wealth and beauty of his designs. No look was complete however, without colorful set of drops or streams of pearls. OscarDeLaRenta_blog_20141021_h

From baubled drops to all-black bibs, jewelry played an essential part in professing new proportions to his silhouettes and defining an air of splendor and sophistication.

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While his gowns could fill up gallery spaces, jewelry was often used to enhance color and graphic intrigue to his awe-inspiring designs.

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