Exhibition’s VIP preview coincides with ‘Coveted Couture’ gala April 28; public access begins April 29

Following a blockbuster run at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Mint Museum is preparing to welcome a new, custom-curated version of The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta this April. The exhibition celebrates the illustrious life and career of the influential fashion designer, and will contain new additions never seen in previous incarnations at other museums. It will pay tribute to a Mint supporter and Charlottean who created the first archives for the late designer, as well as featuring dresses from the Mint’s own Fashion Collection.

The exhibition opens to Mint supporters at the museum’s annual Coveted Couture gala on April 28 at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road in Charlotte (see mintmuseum.org/gala for more information). Mint members have exclusive access on April 29 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; the general public can visit from 2-6 p.m. on April 29 and during regular museum hours afterward, including four FREE hours of access from 5-9 p.m. each Wednesday. It remains on view through July 29. NEW: The exhibition has been extended and will be on view through August 19, 2018!

Presented in collaboration with Oscar de la Renta, LLC, the exhibition features approximately 50 ensembles sourced from de la Renta’s personal archives, the archives of French label Pierre Balmain, private lenders, and the Mint’s collection. It is curated by André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for American Vogue magazine and lifelong friend of the designer, with assistance by fashion historians Molly Sorkin and Jennifer Park. Talley curated a previous incarnation, entitled Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2016.

From the start of his award-winning career, which spanned more than five decades and two continents, Oscar de la Renta set out to design beautiful clothes for every occasion in a woman’s life. The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta highlights recurring themes throughout his career. Themes to be explored include the influence of the garden on his designs; Spanish influences; and Eastern European influences. The creations on view offer a window into de la Renta’s world through a range of looks, from elegant daywear to resplendent evening gowns.

The exhibition will also pay tribute to Marianna Sheridan of Charlotte, who befriended de la Renta and became the first archivist for Oscar de la Renta LLC. She was instrumental in bringing the designer to Charlotte for a 2011 appearance and fashion show at Mint Museum Uptown, and helped bring a dress from the designer’s archives into the Mint’s collection. She passed away in 2017.

“We are thrilled that the Mint is showcasing Oscar’s extraordinary contributions to the world of fashion, with the help of Oscar’s dear friend André Leon Talley,” said Alex Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta, LLC. “We are honored to pay tribute to our dear friend and colleague Marianna Sheridan and the incalculable contributions she made to the creation of our archive.”

The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with the collaboration of Oscar de la Renta, LLC. It is presented to the Charlotte community by Wells Fargo Private Bank, with additional support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary, Moore & Van Allen, and Dickens-Mitchener. It is accompanied by a slate of educational programming, including a FREE public lecture by famed fashion designer Emilio Sosa on May 20. Details are available at mintmuseum.org/happenings. A catalogue and other accompanying merchandise will be on sale in the Mint Museum Shops.

Media and special guests are invited to preview the exhibition on Friday April 27 at 10 a.m. Talley and Mint curators and staff will be available for interviews, and refreshments will be served. To attend, RSVP to leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org .

ABOUT OSCAR DE LA RENTA

Oscar de la Renta (1932–2014) began his career in the 1950s as an apprentice to the renowned Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga. In 1961, he left Madrid to join Antonio del Castillo in Paris as an assistant in the couture department of Lanvin. Shortly after, he relocated to New York, establishing his own eponymous label in 1965. Lauded by fashion press, he quickly gained prominence on the international fashion scene. Considered among the world’s greatest fashion designers, de la Renta created award-winning ready-to-wear and evening wear for customers ranging from everyday women to first ladies and celebrities. In 1992, de la Renta became a designer for French label Pierre Balmain. He was the first American designer to helm a French couture house, a position he held until 2002.