August 30 2014

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36 posts tagged "Oscar De La Renta"

Oscar de la Renta On Fragrance and Memory


Oscar de la Renta just celebrated a major milestone: This marks his fiftieth year as a designer. A staggering achievement in itself, all the more so considering that he is as formidable a talent today as ever; in fact, he even continues to diversify his brand (de la Renta’s home collection recently launched). The latest jewel in the designer’s crown? Something Blue, a fragrance with, unsurprisingly, romance in mind. Because, as de la Renta (who, it should be said, is pure elegance in person) tells me: “A fragrance is something that you should fall in love with; it’s always about romance.” The notes doing the wooing in his latest creation include linden blossom, white musk, lychee, and, the heart note and clear star, stephanotis. Also known, fittingly, as the “bridal veil,” the fragrant bloom is such a favorite for de la Renta that he grows it in his own home garden—that’s where Something Blue’s perfumers traveled to pick and capture the flower’s unique essence. Smell is a particularly powerful sense and also, as de la Renta points out, the longest lasting. With that in mind, we asked him to share one of his own personal fragrance memories.

“For my very first fragrance that I created, back in 1977, one of the top notes was ylang-ylang. It’s not a particularly pretty flower, but it’s all about the smell of it…the smell of the flower is really quite extraordinary. When we were working on the creation of the fragrance, the perfumers had presented me with twenty different small bottles derived from a list of smells that I identified as liking…mostly some Orientals and traditional flowers. And I had told them about one particular scent from my childhood…I remember there was a tree, and at night, when that tree was in bloom, you could smell it for blocks and blocks and blocks. And I said, ‘I don’t know what the real name of the tree is, but as children we used to call it ylang-ylang.’ And the perfumers laughed and said that is, in fact, the actual name! I don’t know why that tree was in my neighborhood, because it’s not indigenous to my country, but now there is a lot of ylang-ylang in the Dominican Republic. So when I had all these bottles in front of me, I started to smell each one…until I got to the ylang-ylang, and I knew it immediately. And just because of that smell I started to remember things about my childhood that I had completely forgotten. There is something unbelievably important about a fragrance that has everything to do with memories…the memory that lingers and that souvenir that you leave behind. And the same thing is true for a woman—how wonderful for a man to walk into a room and there is still that smell lingering in that room of the woman you love.”

Something Blue, $115 for a 3.4-ounce eau de parfum, and $65 for a candle, at Bloomingdale’s.

Photo: Courtesy of Oscar de la Renta

Backstage At Oscar de la Renta, Four Looks Are Better Than One


Oscar de la Renta gave makeup artist Gucci Westman and hairstylist Orlando Pita a challenge this season: to create four different hair-and-makeup looks instead of the requisite one. “Oscar’s collection has four very different sections, and we really wanted the hair and makeup to reflect that,” Westman explained backstage, giving every girl the dewy, glow-y skin the Revlon artistic director has become known for, with perfectly highlighted contours courtesy of Revlon’s Illuminance Crème Shadow in Not Just Nudes, before starting in on each different look.

First out was the Faye Dunaway-inspired matte-orange lip, which Westman created by mixing Revlon’s ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipsticks in It Girl and Front Row. “She has a major mouth,” Westman boasted, pairing the mandarin pout with hairstylist Orlando Pita’s extra-loose ponytails with wispy strands that escaped toward the front, “as if the girls have been running.”

Then came the Kate Moss impersonators—a favorite muse for Westman, who often culls reference points from Moss’ nineties-era heyday. “She’s channeling the nineties with a nude, heavily lined lip,” Westman explained, rimming lips with Revlon ColorStay Lipliner in Natural, before double-timing its Illuminance Crème Shadow in Not Just Nudes as a lipstick. Here, Pita constructed perfectly disheveled waves—a Moss signature.

Next up was the “chinoiserie” section—or “East Asian jet set,” as Westman further described the red metallic lip she created using four different shades of lipstick, depending on the model, including Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in Trendsetter and Finale, as well as its Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cherries in the Snow and Cherry Blossom. “There’s a fragility to her pout,” Westman noted as Pita implemented a “lazy loop,” which he finished off with an Oscar de la Renta jewel.

Lastly came the “gypsy girls,” according to Westman, who were meant to look sufficiently travel worn with super-dark smoky eyes and mulberry-stained mouths. “The gypsy girl is almost greasy-looking,” she explained, fashioning a wet dark eye against paled-out skin. “I’m making the eye matte at first, then adding a layer of Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Shine City so lids are shiny just before the girls walk.” The greasy finish extended to the hair as well, as Pita slicked back twenties-inspired finger waves that were matted to the side, as though the girls had started a sophisticated style but never followed through with it. If you caught a glimpse of a technique that Pita and makeup artist Pat McGrath made famous backstage at Christian Dior under John Galliano’s reign, your eyes were not deceiving you. That Mr. Galliano, who recently completed a residency in Mr. de la Renta’s studio, was actually standing backstage to take it all in only served to further the would-be homage.

Photo:; Getty Images

Oscar De La Renta, Beauty Tycoon


When Oscar de la Renta regained the rights to his beauty licenses two years ago, he and his crack team of advisers set some lofty goals for themselves, which included more fragrances and maybe—just maybe—cosmetics, too. So far, they’ve made good on those promises. The Dominican designer launched Esprit de Oscar just one short year later, an Egyptian jasmine, orange flower, Sicilian lemon, and warm heliotrope eau that was designed for a younger demographic (and promptly launched on Facebook). Then came Live in Love, a green floral in a vintage flacon with a bejeweled topper, which debuted on the heels of de la Renta’s collaboration with Le Métier de Beauté, his first adventure in makeup. The next phase of Oscar’s beauty takeover starts this week, with the debut of his Essential Luxuries collection. Yesterday saw the premiere of a new, in-house line of limited-edition nail lacquers—the bright crimson Red Carnation, the rich plum Aubergine , and the icy blue Larimar—which launched exclusively online at after debuting on his Fall runway. And today, he’ll introduce his ever-growing global fan base to six new perfumes, each inspired by something near and dear to de la Renta’s heart. Santo Domingo, where he was born, boasts sweet and spicy aromas of coffee plantations and tobacco leaves tinged with spicy mandarin, coriander, and patchouli notes; Granada recalls the southern Spanish town that Oscar fell in love with early in his life, which is replete with lush gardens of jasmine and orange trees; Oriental Lace is a reference to the opulent fabrics he typically uses in his collections and leans heavily on essences of the hoya carnosa flower, which is grown throughout Mr. de la Renta’s Punta Cana home, as well as hints of honey, bitter almond, and dark cacao; Sargasso is a tribute to the Sargasso Sea, which lines the shore of Punta Cana and reminds the designer of salty air intermingling with bursts of fresh citrus and refreshing cucumber; Coralina, a mimosa, violet, and orris eau, is an homage to the ginger-hued gemstone of the same name that is indigenous to the Dominican Republic, and the ultra-feminine collections it often inspires; and our personal favorite, Mi Corazon, was created from a shared memory with Oscar’s daughter, Eliza, of the smell of ylang-ylang petals mingled with touches of exotic peach. At this pace, we wouldn’t be surprised if a full color collection was in the works for 2013.

$150 each, available exclusively at

Halle’s SoCal Skincare Secret; Katy Perry: The Makeup-Free Movie; And More…


Despite what you may have heard, Halle Berry is very low maintenance—when it comes to her beauty regimen, at least. The Oscar-winning actress swears by the Kinara Spa in L.A. for regular facials and uses its line of in-house products almost exclusively. “I’m big on taking care of my skin so that I can go without makeup. I just grab and go, and what it looks like, it looks like,” the Revlon brand ambassador says. [Bella Sugar]

First came the new fragrances, then the nail polish collection, and now Oscar de la Renta has apparently released a sunscreen. The printed bottle, which was inspired by the designer’s 2012 Resort collection, was originally only available at his resort in the Dominican Republic but is now for sale on his Web site as well. [Teen Vogue]

Ever wonder what the minimally-minded Tilda Swinton would look like all glammed up? Candy magazine did. The glossy that celebrates “transvestism, trans-sexuality, cross dressing and androgyny” put Swinton on its latest cover with a huge mass of red hair, fake eyelashes, a ton of eye shadow, and copper painted talons. And you know what? She still looks good. [Daily Mail]

Katy Perry is taking the opposite approach in her upcoming 3-D movie event Part Of Me (yes, we said movie), going sans makeup and funky hair colors to reveal her bare skin and simple, dark brown hair. Full disclosure: she is unrecognizable. [Bella Sugar Australia]

Photo: Eugene Gologursky/WireImage

See Jo Do Good; Baa Baa Blemishes; And More…


After years of culling the English countryside for inspiration to fuel its fruit and herb-filled perfume arsenal, Jo Malone is giving back. The British fragrance brand has unveiled a project to create gardens in major cities around the world in partnership with a series of charities that restore green spaces in urban areas. First up, a collaboration with Thrive, a U.K. nonprofit that offers gardening as therapy for disabled and mentally ill people. [WWD]

First there were the snake venom creams and the flesh-eating fish pedicures, then came the nightingale excrement facials and the bull semen conditioning treatments. Hollywood’s latest wacky beauty obsession? Sheep placenta skincare. Would ewe go there? [Mirror]

Oscar de la Renta spiked his Resort collection with infusions of neon in hair extension form—which should give the ladies-who-lunch set a lot to think about. [NY Mag]

Britney Spears was just named the latest judge on Simon Cowell’s X Factor, but lest you’ve forgotten, Brit was a fragrance mogul (and considerably successful pop star) before she turned TV host. Want proof? She’s just released a new, two-in-one version of her best-selling perfumes, Fantasy and Midnight Fantasy, that will presumably be advertised on the Fox show. [People]

Photo: Courtesy of Jo Malone