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Art Education

Oscar De La Renta

Oscar De La Renta

Oscar de la Renta is a celebrated fashion designer who’s known for his luxuriously styled designs that suited socialites, Hollywood celebrities, international elites as well as US first ladies including Jackie Kennedy, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Laura and Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama. Oscar was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1932 and traveled to Spain to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid when he was 18 years old. He dreamed of becoming an abstract painter but fashion design quickly became his inspiration. While he was in school he worked as an illustrator for different fashion designers until graduation, moving from Spain, to Paris, and then to New York where he designed for the house of Elizabeth Arden. He would establish his own house of high fashion, or house of couture, in three years later in 1965 at 33 years old.


Fashion Flats

Flats are the front and back view of a garment as if it was laid flat out on a table. Flats show the details of the construction of a garment, showing pockets, buttons, stitching, and zippers and so forth. Use the various garment flats to help you sketch ideas for a design.

Textile Patterns

Pattern is an important element in fashion design and art. Pattern is the repetition of shape, line, or form, and many are recognizable and are widely known by name. The human eye is very attracted to pattern and using pattern in your designs is a very good way to keep your viewers attention.

Biography Task

The answers to the following questions can be found in the various articles about Christian Dior at Mr. Fatta’s Oscar De La Renta Magazine, there you will find all the information you need about the history and biography of Christian Dior. I encourage your to explore the different articles about Dior and try to find unique pieces of information that you can include in your research. As a guide, helpful links are embedded in some of the questions to guide you in your initial search. Create a slide in your Google Portfolio that addresses the following questions, work to compose complete sentences from the information you gather, exemplar work would feature the research in at least 2 complete paragraphs.

  1. What are the general facts about Oscar’s; birth date, birth place, parents, etc?
  2. What did Oscar dream of becoming before deciding to be a fashion designer?
  3. What famous woman has Oscar designed dresses for?
  4. Whom did Oscar marry, how did she influence his career?
  5. What happened to his wife?
  6. What are the distinguishing characteristics of Oscar’s designs?
  7. What shapes, patterns, or colors appear frequently in his designs?
  8. What prestigious Boards did Oscar serve on?
  9. What were the circumstances  of his death?

When writing a biography it is important to write the information using your own words and to not copy from the web site or source material. Read the material and identify the main ideas and facts, reorganize the facts, combine ideas from different sources, and use synonyms to create your own biography. Use the following tutorial below to guide you in writing your own biography about Oscar De La Renta from the links provided.

¹Oscar de la Renta, Editors, The website,, September 24, 2017, A&E Television Networks

Fashion Design Task

Use the images featured here and develop a series of sketches in your sketchbook to create 3 figures wearing original De La Renta’s designs. Trace the finished sketches onto large marker paper, darken the lines. Scan the line drawing before coloring it to print it out on marker paper if needed.

Color the sketches lightly and shade darker to show shadow and highlight to create form in the work. Add any textures, patterns and details to your sketches as well.

Label the sketches with the tile of the garment as shown on the source site, list the creation date, and write any pertinent information about the design. Include swatches of color, pattern, and texture with the sketches and the notes to highlight those elements of the design. Peruse the featured slideshows below for samples of couture sketches.

1. Create 3 sketches of De La Renta’s Designs on fashion croquis (figurers) Include hair, and facial features.

2. Scan the pencil drawing before coloring it in. Print the scanned work onto large drawing paper.

3. Color the printed scan using markers

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