Honoring a designer famed for dressing First Ladies all the way back to Nancy Reagan, the exhibition has found a fitting home at the Presidential Center.
A retrospective of the Dominican-American fashion designer Oscar de la Renta’s work, the exibition features mannequins displaying over 60 of his classic outfits, including pieces worn by Laura Bush, Hilary Clinton and Nancy Reagan when they greeted leaders, dignitaries and diplomats from around the world. To keep up the family ties, Jenna Bush’s wedding dress is also on display.
“I have always felt my role as a designer is to do the very best I can for a woman to make her look her best. Fashion is only fashion once a woman puts it on,” said the designer.
This expanded show follows on from the “Oscar de la Renta: American Icon” exhibition, a six-month display held last year at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. The new show explores the Spanish influence in de la Renta’s designs (he spent time in Madrid in his youth), from vibrant colours to his use of traditional lace and matador detailing, while the couture clothing in the exhibition is taken from his time as the head of French fashion house Pierre Balmain.
There are also plenty of stunning red carpet gowns worn by celebrities at events including the annual Met Gala, the Academy Awards and the Country Music Awards. The exhibition runs until Oct 5 with tickets priced at US$17 for adults.
Check out this introductory video from Laura Bush to get a taste of the show: