Location: de Young Museum, San Francisco, California
Date: March 12- May 30, 2016
Give me 30 seconds:
- Go on a weekday, its less crowded.
- Regular museum admission is $10. The Oscar exhibit is $30. If you're going with two people and you happen to have an out of state ID, opt for the Out of State membership. Its $60 and it allows you to bring in a guest, basically the same price as two Oscar exhibit tickets.
- Get the audio tour. Worth the $7 (if you're a member). $8 for non member. You will hear Andrea Leon Talle speak about Oscar and there are side commentaries from other influential people in fashion along with extra runway show clips. You can also download the de Young app and its $5.99 for the audio tour.
- Museum is closed most Mondays and only open until 5:15pm from Tuesday- Saturday, so plan accordingly.
During my latest trip to San Francisco, I had the pleasure of being able to view Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective before its closing on May 30th, 2016. The rooms are broken up, not chronologically, but rather by inspiration and theme, featuring over 150 pieces by the late designer. The exhibit was curated by former American Vogue editor at large, Andre Leon Talley, summarizing and highlighting the career of one of the worlds most loved couture designers. Some of my favorite themes were Flamenco culture, Russian influence, Garden Party and of course, the red carpet room, which is sure to take your breath away. The retrospective draws pieces from the brand's archives, de la Renta's personal collections, private owners as well as the museums own collection.
"This privilege is exceedingly important for me after years of close friendship with Oscar, as well as a strong working relationship during my life at Vogue. My goal is to highlight the extraordinary depth of Oscar's creative aesthetic from his earliest designs for Jane Derby throughout the five decades of his remarkable career," said Leon Talley in an official statement.
The Garden Room
Hands down my favorite room in the exhibit. The brightest and happiest room in the exhibition, dedicated to de la Renta’s love of nature, florals and gardening. A slow-motion video of de la Renta’s Connecticut estate garden, together with the light and printed tapestry, make you feel like you are walking into the most elegant and dazzling garden party of your life. My favorite look, three images down, is so simple, elegant and perfectly me. The three mannequins that sit on a park bench in silk Balmain gowns are a re- creation of an October 1997 Vogue photo shoot by Peter Lindbergh.
Spain and Flamenco Culture
My second favorite theme in the exhibition because of its breath of fresh life and energy. Rich colors and bold textures were clearly visible here and immediately set you right into the heart of de la Renta's inspiration.
Talley completely styled every single mannequin and were accessorized with Oscar de la Renta costume jewelry and instead of shoes, they wore grosgrain ribbon in various colors to mimic a Manolo Blahnik sandal. It was simple and ladylike, and I loved this little detail.
Eastern and Russian Influence
In this room, Talley re-created a Vogue image from a December 2010 photo shoot in which Asian modes with mohawks were "redefining traditional concepts of beauty." Being Asian myself, I distinctly remember this spread in Vogue and seeing the recreation of the shoot and the gowns up close, was a pretty special moment.
We all know the grace and elegance that Oscar de la Renta brings to the red carpet, heads turn again and again, year after year. The final room of the exhibition is dedicated to the years and glitz and glamour of the red carpet looks that have donned everyone from celebrities, musicians, First Lady's and society of women across the board. Many of my favorite looks below.
Fashionista or not, you will enjoy seeing this exhibit. Unable to make the exhibit? The beautiful coffee table book is available to purchase for $75 here. If you still don't know the difference between petersham and grosgrain, don't worry, this exhibit won't explain that to you, but it will open your eyes to the past five decades of inspiration, vision and creations from a legendary designer.
Let me know what you think of the exhibit in the comments below!
As always, go JETSETAWAY!