Often we limit our definition of art to paintings and sculpture, but it is so much more, and it is wonderful to be exposed to it in an unexpected way.
In a stunning exhibition of Oscar de la Renta’s designs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, clothing is art influenced by nature, art history, diverse cultures and the women for whom de la Renta designed.
It was easy to see the influences in his work. What he saw in Spain colored the way he saw clothes throughout his career.
He was drawn to the bright colors of Spanish art and the decorative elements of bullfighting attire.
When I spotted this coat, there was no question that the inspiration was Russian. At one time I had a coat reminiscent of this design. It was red with black embroidery and fur trimmed collar, cuffs and hem. Oh, how I loved that coat and held on to it for years after it no longer fit!
Who knew that de la Renta was an avid gardener and that this interest would find way into many of his designs?
A quote read, “A garden is probably the most spiritual and pure of joys. It’s a communion with nature and beauty in the most simple and fundamental form.”
Those words made it easy to appreciate his use of natural elements to create breathtaking designs.
As beautiful and romantic as de la Renta’s designs are, I could not imagine myself in most of them, that is until I got to these, reflecting an Eastern influence. I am a gal who loves flowing, unstructured clothing that leaves me feeling free. Any one of these would suit me, but I’m especially drawn to the white and the whimsey of the black.
I loved the attention to detail, the sensitivity to fabric, the use of embellishment in de la Renta’s work, but the real take away from this exhibit is how varied art is. One just has to find his/her own way of expressing it.
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