BFFS

Classic Oscar!

Oscar de la Renta is the subject of a new exhibition at the Clinton Center in Arkansas that explores his long career—and nods to his long friendship with Hillary.

Clockwise from left: Getty; Steven Meisel (2); Mario Testino

Clockwise from left: Getty; Steven Meisel (2); Mario Testino

Oscar de la Renta Exhibition Coming to Clinton Center

Oscar de la Renta and Hillary Clinton go way back. As she recently said, in 1993 “I was hosting, along with my husband, the annual gathering for the Kennedy Center Honors. We were in the receiving line, and people were coming through, and they were making small talk. Along came Oscar and Annette, his fabulous wife. So I reached out to shake Oscar’s hand, and he looked me up and down and said, ‘That’s one of my dresses.’ I said, 'Really?’ … I always have been, as I am now, such a fashion icon.”

On Monday, evidence of their two-decade-long friendship will be put on display, as Oscar de la Renta: American Icon opens at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The show tells the story of the designer’s life and rich career—spanning from the 1960s, when the Dominican-born de la Renta moved to the United States and launched his ready-to-wear line, to recent stand-out collections. It also includes red-carpet highlights (including dresses worn by Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway) and big editorial moments (such as the dress worn by Carey Mulligan on the cover of Vogue last May).

Last month, Clinton (who appeared on the cover of Vogue in a de la Renta design in 1998) graced the stage at the CFDA Awards to bestow the designer with the organization’s prestigious Founder’s Award—and to give a passionate speech about de la Renta’s long friendship and many talents. When he got up to receive the award, he paused, smiled, and called Clinton his “best friend.” 

Oscar de la Renta: American Icon runs from July 8 through December 1, 2013. 

Steven Meisel/Hyoni Kang/FORD Model; Hyun Lee, SILENT Models NY

De la Renta's designs in Vogue, December 2010. (Hyoni Kang/FORD Model; Hyun Lee, SILENT Models NY)

Steven Meisel

De la Renta in Vogue, July 2005. 

William J. Clinton Presidential Center

The green dress worn by Carey Mulligan on the May 2013 cover of Vogue.

Vogue, July 2006.

Strapless floral designs by Oscar de la Renta in the exhibition. 

One of de la Renta's dresses in Vogue, December 2000. 

Louis Faurer/William J. Clinton Presidential Center

A coat “with a simple formula for greatness: whiteness,” read Vogue in April 1963. “By Elizabeth Arden’s new talked-of young designer, Oscar de la Renta.” (Photograph by Louis Faurer) 

Testino Mario

Model Daria Werbowy carrying a black hat, walking down a colorful street in Argentina, wearing a long black tulle strapless dress with ivory folkloric embroidery and a satin sash by Oscar de la Renta, worn with Rochas black loafer heels and a Fred Leighton necklace in Vogue, March 2006. 

William J. Clinton Presidential Center

Dresses in the exhibition at the Clinton Center. 

Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

De la Renta photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin