Fashion world bids farewell to designer Oscar de la Renta

Mon Nov 3, 2014 4:22pm EST
 
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By Chris Francescani

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The fashion world mourned the loss of one of its greatest designers on Monday at the private funeral of Oscar de la Renta, who died last month at 82 after battling cancer.

The tall Dominican-born de la Renta dressed New York socialites, Hollywood stars and American first ladies during a career that spanned five decades.

Former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Hillary Clinton, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Vogue magazine Editor in Chief Anna Wintour spoke during the service at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

"It was a beautiful ceremony," said Heather Petrie, 31, a member of the choir. "It was a celebration of life" with "lots of music, an orchestra, a full choir and a soloist."

Music executive Lisa Schiff described the service as "extraordinary" as she left the church.

Designers Valentino, Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan, director Mike Nichols and his journalist wife Diane Sawyer, newswoman Barbara Walters, photographer Annie Leibovitz and actor Hugh Jackman were among the invited guests.

Fans and photographers were kept behind police barricades that stretched a city block at the imposing church on Park Avenue.

"He was an icon and a guru of fashion and a wonderful man who changed people's lives in fashion," said 44-year-old Kim Wolfe of Manhattan as guests arrived for the service.   Continued...

 
Vogue editor Anna Wintour pauses as she departs the memorial of of late fashion designer Oscar de la Renta in New York, November 3, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson