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Oscar's Lunch

FIT's Couture Council Fêtes de la Renta

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Sarah Jessica Parker and Oscar de la Renta   
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Oscar de la Renta is one of those gentlemen it's hard to describe without resorting to French. "He's very soigné and suave and full of savoir faire," Simon Doonan told Style.com yesterday at the Museum at FIT's Couture Council fall luncheon, where the Dominican-born designer was being honored.

Held at Lincoln Center, the gathering served as a kickoff of sorts for all the runway action about to unfold there. Indeed, what better opening ceremony than the sight of Diane von Furstenberg stepping out of her green Bentley and into the expectant plaza?

DVF joined de la Renta at a table with Sarah Jessica Parker, Donna Karan, and Barbara Bush; surrounding the designer and his inner circle were hundreds of uptown fashion plates who love and wear him. Add Michael Bloomberg to that group. In presenting the award, the mayor noted that he'd tried on at least one look the designer created for New York's 2012 Olympics bid. "If I'd ever worn his red-carpet gowns, I wouldn't tell you," Bloomberg added. (Perhaps his predecessor, known for his willingness to don a gown here and there, might have?)

At the dais, de la Renta showed some of the grace that has propelled his creations into the dressing rooms of so many actual and aspiring first ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Ann Romney. He revealed that he once personally apologized to an influential fashion writer after she gave his show a poor review. "I'm still learning my craft on a daily basis," de la Renta declared. As he returned to his table, glowing from the rousing ovation he'd received, Karan lugged out an iPad to take a photo of him, and you believed all the more that he'd truly meant it moments earlier when he said, "I've never had as good a time doing what I do as I do now."

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