Afternoon With Oscar | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Girl-Pink-Green-1aWelcome to a new Friday Fashion episode.

Bold, bright, artistic, extravagant and imaginative, this is how I can describe Oscar de la Renta’s exhibition. The hall with deep red walls is just perfect to enhance the beauty and opulence of each piece of clothing inspired by the Spanish period de la Renta spent working for Balenciaga in Madrid. That deep red color transfers in the viewer’s eyes the passion for all Spanish life expressions. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

(Spanish period influence)


The Golden Age of Spanish Art influenced young designer de la Renta who drew all the jewel tones from Velázquez’s paintings, Spanish court costumes, royal armor, flamenco dancers and from elaborate embroiders of matadors’ capes. The extravagant evening gowns with cascading ruffles seemed in such a demand that appeared season after season. The hand painted silk kaftans are stunning, look so modern, in fact manufacturers are still making the same style today, unfortunately with less sumptuousness.

(Hand-painted Kaftans)
(Russian Influence)
Russian Influence-Coats
(Eastern Influence)
Indian Influence
(Eastern Embroideries)
The red walls hall is a concentrate of the folk European costumes that inspired Oscar de la Renta. He drew from European history, adopted diverse cultures, used Indian textiles for dresses, created coats with Russian fabrics with beautiful ornamentations and folk Uzbek and Kazakh Ikat-patterned cloth, which details made up Oscar de la Renta’s signature pieces for his ready-to-wear collections.

In 1972 Oscar said that his sole purpose as a designer was to create something women would want to wear “sleek by day and lavish by night”. So he succeeded behind imagination to dress women for over fifty years in sophisticated day wear, understated elegance for evening clothes and in lavishly embellished cocktail dresses. His collections are renowned for their modernity even for today’s style. There is nothing in this exhibition women would not want to wear.

(Day Wear)
The hall dedicated to the eighteenth century country French inspiration is very playful and I particularly admire the silk fabric wall treatment. Chartreuse color comes through fenestration on white fabrics, making the overall effects soft, airy and delicate just like the exquisite embroidered fabrics of the period. Even though this hall is dedicated to French country-style and the look seems relaxed, floral, almost peasant like, nothing here looks cheap or poor. The designers experimented with a rustic look, giving the wealthy women a playful taste of a simple life in the fields. It was a “make-believe” collection and to reinforce elegance the designer added long trains to some dresses. It’s hard to imagine a peasant working in the field with a long train behind her dress.

(French Country XVIII Century Inspiration)
We recognize the evening gowns of the ’70s, so modern, so beautiful and still so very current. It was a fundraiser event that took place in the palace of Versailles where five designers were chosen to represent France. The chiffon and crêpe de chine dresses created a rainbow of pastel colors.

(Versailles Collection)
Versailles(Ballroom Gowns Collection)

Ball Room Gowns
(All photos taken at the De Young Museum by Valentina Cirasola)

The collection has been a sheer delight to see, in fact, as all the fashion exhibits I never get enough the first time and visit them the second time.
If the exhibition comes around in your city, I hope you get to see it. Ciao,


Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. To better help people in the world she offers consultations online. She is the author of three books.

Get your copy of Valentina’s book on colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors on


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amy
    May 22, 2016 @ 00:33:23

    Wow!!! So very glamorous!!



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