In sad news for the sartorial world, innovative designer Oscar de la Renta passed away at the age of 82 in Kent, Connecticut, his family confirmed to ABC News. Known for his use of luxurious and colorful fabrics, de la Renta began designing as a teenager after he became an apprentice to Cristobal Balenciaga when he left his home country of the Dominican Republic to study art in Spain. Before starting his own line,he worked for Elizabeth Arden and Jane Derby in the 1960s. It was during this time that he became a couturier to Jacqueline Kennedy, and went on to design for every First Lady after her.
Beyond the line that carried his name, he worked for Balmain and Lanvin. In 2006, he added bridal wear to his label, most recently designing Amal Alamuddin‘s dress for her wedding to George Clooney. His creations became favorites of the rich and powerful, routinely dressing stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Penelope Cruz and his close friend, Vogueeditor-in-chief Anna Wintour. It was recently announced that PeterCoppings, the former artistic director for Nina Ricci, would be taking over reigns as creative director of Oscar de la Renta, with his first collection to be unveiled in February.
Mr. de la Renta is survived by his wife Annette de la Renta, his stepchildren from his two marriages and an adopted son, Moises de la Renta. He also leaves behind an immense legacy and unforgettable fashions that still stand the test of time. Here are some of his most recent fabulous designs.
The legendary Ruby Deepassed away at age 91 at her home in New Rochelle, New York on Wednesday night, as reported to The Associated Press by her daughter. Born Ruby Ann Wallace, she got her start on Broadway, but it was a star turn as Rae Robinsonin ‘The Jackie Robinson Story,’ that helped to launch her film and television career.
She appeared alongside SidneyPoitierin 1961′s ‘A Raisin in the Sun‘, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. The role of Mama Lucas in ‘American Gangster‘ earned her an Oscar nomination and a Screen Actor’s Guild award. She appeared in critically acclaimed episodes for ‘Police Woman‘ and ‘Peyton Place.’ Starred in the made-for-TV movie adaptation of Dr. Maya Angelou‘s autobiography, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings‘ and even made her way down to Miami for an episode of ‘The Golden Girls‘ where she played Blanche’s former nanny. One of her most famous roles was as Mother Sister in Spike Lee’s‘Do The Right Thing,’ which also co-starred her husband Ossie Davis, who died in 2005. Lee made a statement on his Instagram about Dee’s passing saying that he was “crushed” over death. Ruby frequently appeared along side Ossie in on stage and screen. In their autobiography, ‘With Ossie & Ruby: In This Life Together,’ they discussed their political activism, and friendships with both Malcolm Xand Martin Luther King, Jr. The couple were arrested in 1999 for protesting the shooting of Amadou Diallo in front New York City’s police headquarters.
Her stage career included performances in ‘King Lear,’ ‘The Glass Menagerie‘ and ‘Bus Stop.‘ At Sunday night’s Tony awards, Audra McDonald included her as one of the black actresses that made her stage career possible. A breast cancer survivor of more than three decades, she leaves behind three children, musician Guy Davis, Nora Davis DayandHasna Muhammed.
A private service will be held for family and friends, a public service will be announced at a later date.