The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta is the Museum of Fine Arts’ first monographic costume show, meaning that it’s their first show to feature garments from a single artist. It follows an exhibition which ran last year, titled Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective, from the De Young museum in San Francisco, the first museum to feature de la Renta’s work. “It had a lot of attention,” says Caroline Goeser, the museum’s Chair of the Department of Learning and Interpretation. “Our directors were very interested in it, and our trustees were very interested in it. It was decided that it would be really nice to bring some of those garments to Houston.” Though what’s unique about this particular exhibition in Houston is that it’s not a retrospective, chronological survey of De la Renta’s work. Rather, his pieces are arranged thematically, offering immersive experiences that showcase De la Renta’s global, timeless, and technically masterful approach to design. “We didn’t want to give people the wrong impression that this is the whole life, the whole swathe of his career,” said Goeser. “But instead it’s an exhibition that really focuses on some of the salient features that do follow him throughout his career–romance and luxury and glamour–and wanting visitors to really focus on that experience, what it’s like to feel those things rather than learning about him from beginning to end of his career.” The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta features over 70 ensembles sourced from de la Renta’s personal and corporate archives, private lenders, Pierre Balmain, and from the museum’s own collections. It showcases ensembles worn by the likes of Beyoncé, Amal Clooney, Taylor Swift and Lynn Wyatt.
The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta is running through January 28, 2018, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.