WRITTEN BY Virginia Blanton
“The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta” is on view through July 29th at the Mint Museum Randolph. Curated by André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for American Vogue, it is the final exhibit to bookend Charlotte’s “Year of Fashion.”
Upon arrival, you will be transported to a sea of pink taffeta and a gallery reminiscent of a flamenco party that A-lister Beyoncé could have attended, with a red number she wore in a photo shoot for Vogue. Live vicariously through Taylor Swift’s gown that grazed the red-carpeted steps of the 2014 Met Gala.
The selected pieces encompass Oscar de la Renta’s extensive career, with designs ranging from 1967 up to a year before he died in 2014. Each design is tailored to the Mint Museum Randolph, using some from the museum’s own collection and some that are unique to this particular version of the exhibit. The “Year of Fashion” commenced last April, in hopes of studying and celebrating historic and contemporary fashions.
The exhibition is especially poignant due to the efforts of the late Marianna Sheridan. She approached the Oscar de la Renta family with a vision of creating a formal corporate archive of de la Renta’s work. She led the project as archivist, cataloguing and collecting inventory. Today, the archive serves as the cornerstone for Oscar creations traveling the world. Marianna, who passed away in June 2017, was a vibrant woman, friend and mother.
Marianna was also a great friend to Peachy and Blair Farris, helping to secure the cover dress for the first holiday issue of Peachy in 2013. As Blair recalls, “I had the vision of a gorgeous gal on the cover of the holiday issue. Marianna and I had coffee, and she said she would help me get a red Oscar de la Renta dress. Marianna went to NYC and texted me pictures of fabulous red dresses. We selected one and she had it sent to Charlotte. She helped with the model, photographer and photo shoot, resulting in an amazing cover! Her contribution was invaluable and will not be forgotten.”
Continue the couture tour at the Mint Museum Uptown. The William Ivey Long exhibit is on display through June 3rd. Ensembles from the six-time Tony Award winning, North Carolinian costume designer are pulled from “Grease Live!,” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again.”
Raised in the Tar Heel state, Talley said in an interview, “[Oscar’s] work will stand the test of time, because he wanted to create quality. And he always wanted [women] to wear his clothes and make their hearts smile. He created fashion that rendered women simply ‘elegant and beautiful.’”
Accompanying the final days of Oscar’s exhibit is the “Film & Fashion Series.” The Mint Museum Randolph will screen The Devil Wears Prada on June 20th and The September Issue on July 11th. Both flicks start at 6 p.m. on the lawn. Admission is free and there will be a cash bar, live music, food trucks and Oscar de la Renta-inspired shopping.
The Mint’s “Year of Fashion” drew distinguished designers and influencers in the industry to the Queen City. The increased visibility of fashion could credit Charlotte as a city to watch, like a new model on the runway.