October 21, 2014, - 9:46 am

Oscar de la Renta: Classy, Proud American, Pro-Israel Designer Put US on Fashion Map, Dissed Obama

By Debbie Schlussel

The world of fashion and pop culture is lamenting the death of fashion designer Oscar de la Renta at age 82. But none of the obituaries mention that he was among those who dared to buck the jihadist, anti-Semitic boycott of Israel, showing his fashions there at the invitation of Israel’s then “First Lady.” And few obits will mention that de la Renta wasn’t shy about criticizing Mrs. Obama.



Oscar de la Renta (Left) w/ Right-Hand Man, IDF Veteran Boaz Mazor

Born in the Dominican Republic, de la Renta put U.S. fashion on the map, choosing New York as his headquarters for nearly a half century of designing under his own eponymous label. This was at a time when Paris and Milan ruled the runways and the offerings in haute couture. Not only did he make the chicly fashionable like Jackie Kennedy and celebrities fashionably chic, but he also managed to single-handedly make the hopelessly unattractive (Hillary Clinton, Sarah Jess-equine Parker), the committedly slovenly (Oprah Winfrey), congenitally dowdy (Laura Bush), and the perpetually pretentious and fashion self-victimized (Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Hussein Obama Idi Amin Dada) all look better than could ever be expected. They all looked better when they wore Oscar. It bears notice that de la Renta, who chose America as his home and turned New York into a major fashion power, criticized Mrs. Obama for wearing so many foreign designers. That’s rare in a world in which designers pander to the First Lady lest their clothes not be worn by her.

I was lucky, back in the day (the 1980s and ’90s) to have a few off-the-rack de la Renta pieces (which I bought on super-super-sale, or I could never afford them). They were at the same time chic and classic. Even his most “trendy” clothes were actually timeless classics, modern and at the same time always in and polished. De la Renta shied away from actual trends, preferring beauty and style to ephemeral cheap fast fashion fads. None of his clothes were sleazy, which you can’t say about most high fashion sachems today.

And while de la Renta’s last big splash was unfortunately providing the wedding gown of the viciously anti-Israel, anti-Semitic Amal Alamuddin a/k/a Amal Clooney to pretentious liberal dope George Clooney, it bears special note that Oscar de la Renta was among those who ignored calls by jihadists and their fellow Jew-haters to boycott Israel. It may be in part due to the fact that his longtime (several decades) right-hand man, Boaz Mazur (also spelled, “Mazor”), was born in Israel and proudly served in the Israeli Defense Forces. Mazur, who first came to New York as a male model in the ’70s after completing his IDF service, was at de la Renta’s side ever since. He is Vice President of de la Renta’s design company. Mazur/Mazor’s family is from North Africa, and they, too, were blown away in the winds of jihad, like many Jews from Arabic and Muslim nations, forced to flee for safety and security in Israel.

Check out this report from de la Renta’s 1996 visit to Israel, although I don’t think the fascination with Jordan or the Peace-In-Name-Only process is so well-founded nor did I believe the anti-Israel claim that Israeli models were “shaky” on stiletto heels (those anti-Israel reporters always gotta get their digs in):

BEN GURION AIRPORT, ISRAEL BEN GURION AIRPORT, Israel–Oscar de la Renta took the elaborate wool plaids and shimmering sequins of his Winter ’96 collection to a hanger outside Tel Aviv, where models stepped down from an El Al airplane onto a runway. The Dominican-born designer said he jumped at the offer by Leah Rabin, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s wife, to hold the first foreign showing of his collection in Israel. . . .

“It is a very, very important time to be in Israel because of the peace process that is taking place,” de la Renta told reporters Monday. “I feel very honored that I am here.”

Israeli models, appearing shaky on stiletto heels, showed off fur-collared dress coats from deep bronze to black, while silky fabrics clung like second skins in bold pomegranate, rich royal blue and hot pink. . . . Proceeds from the sold-out show were going to the children’s wing at Tel Aviv’s Tel Hashomer Hospital.

Reflecting the new opportunities of peace, de la Renta’s next stop was Amman, the capital of Jordan, which made peace with Israel in October. The visit comes after an invitation from Jordan’s American-born Queen Noor.

Boaz Mazur, de la Renta’s Israeli-born assistant of 20 years, said the show in Tel Aviv was “special because we are going to Jordan from here.” “I never dreamed it possible,” he said.

Keep dreaming. De la Renta’s and Mazur’s optimism for peace at the time wasn’t realized much and with Jordan it is a cold peace that will end if the largely-Palestinian population ever overthrows the Hussein Hashemite monarchy of dictators.

In any event, Oscar de la Renta didn’t shy away from supporting Israel and criticizing Michelle Obama. And for either of those things, alone, not to mention both, he deserves special recognition. He was truly a class act both in the fashion he produced and his public behavior.

Oscar de la Renta, Talented and Politically Incorrect Designer, Rest In Peace.

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13 Responses


kirche on October 21, 2014 at 9:59 am

Interesting points about him making NYC a fashion mecca alongside Paris and Milan. American designers that followed – like Kenneth Cole starting from selling ties out of a van – all owe him their gratitude.

Oh, well. Doesn’t matter much anymore. When the muslims reach critical mass, everyone will be wearing Adidas track suits: the terrorists’ go-to fashion.

DS_ROCKS! on October 21, 2014 at 10:29 am

    You’re right D S Rocks. What’s up with the crazy Muslim dirtbags and their track suits…lol.

    Ken B on October 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm

May he rest in the Peace of the Righteous.

Occam's Tool on October 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm

“Committedly Slovenly” lol how can anyone not laugh at that descriptive phrase. Too funny.

However your descriptive diss on Serena yesterday not so funny.

I also have a question, even though you always type it when discussing Michelle Obama, I do not get the Idi Amin Dada part?

MrBigBrain on October 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm

A mind in indeed a terrible thing to taste, Big, Dumb Dinky. It figures you wouldn’t get the Idi Amin Dada flourish.

I think DS summed up the classic style of ODLR quite rightly. Classic is always the way to go and one must balance their wardrobe to *REALLY* make a statement. I do love fashion (thou’ that may shock some…) and I love it done beautifully, which is hard to do. Like decorating a room, balance is the key. I notice it like a killer shark. My biggest pet peeve is when people overdo it with too much jewelry and/or a print. To get the balance right (and to wear clothes that suit your shape) is key. Serena Williams could learn much from the style of ODLR.

I think Sarah Jessica wore a flowery dress a few years ago by ODLR and it was panned but I just loved it. She really knows how to balance a look properly. I think that moron Jennifer Lopez wore a green schmata of ODLR’s (when she was with BigHead Affleck)that was also panned years ago but I loved it as well. The colour was fab and it was very Liz Taylor circa 1970s. I didn’t think it was a schmata but most did (and I love that word anyway so what the hell…).

Pity about Amal Looney. I just hope all the women he didn’t marry are rolling their eyes and gnashing their teeth because the retard was clearly NOT anti-marriage but all about anti-respect. And they let that crumb-bum use ’em anyway. Gotta love it!

GGSkunky on October 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Bear no negative thoughts because Oscar de la Renta provided the wedding gown for Amal Alamuddin a/k/a Amal Clooney. I am fairly certain that he didn’t do this for free–based on rumors of the extraordinarily large amount of loot that Clooney put into his wedding. There’s no sin in that. Better that de la Renta’s staff and other wedding beneficiaries should get Clooney’s cash.

As for Oscar de la Renta: we should honor this “King of Schmatta”–and I mean that with all due respect.

(“Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta, I can’t give it away on 7th Avenue, this town’s been wearing tatters.”–from the Rolling Stones song Shattered by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.)

Ralph Adamo on October 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Ralph, I love that you included that Rolling Stones song! I love the “Some Girls” album! When I hear those songs, it makes me more than happy! It’s my 3rd fav Stone album after “Sticky Fingers” and “Let It Bleed”!

HHSkunky on October 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Although the Stones “Ruby Tuesday” and “Paint It Black” will always be my favorites, I loved what they started doing in the late 70’s. When “Miss You” hit the airwaves, I loved it. Hard core rock fans hated it, and the Stones even doing that kind of music. They claimed the Stones sold out to disco, a claim they also made with Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy.”

    My favorite music is soul, starting with Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions 1963 “It’s Alright.” That is bookended by Tavares 1975 “It Only Takes A Minute,” and encompasses all the soul that came in between. I liked the Stones branching out. I’ve hung with plenty of musicians, some who were big time, or on the fringes of big time, and who had played with big time musicians.

    What I’ve learned is no matter what some musicians prefer, or become famous for doing, really devout musicians know everything, about all types of music, including classical, and most of them can play any type of music, at a moment’s notice. The Stones wouldn’t have lasted 50 years if they couldn’t ride the waves, and if they had just stopped at my two favorite songs of theirs, they would have died the death that many other bands have.

    The great ones develop foundational styles and signature songs, but they must adapt to new trends in order to retain a “career.” The Stones have done that like very few, and longer than almost anyone.

    Tony Bennett is one who has stayed extremely relevant, even reaching out to rappers and hip hop artists. The relationships he’s developed, and things he’s done are incredible.

    Alfredo from Puerto Rico on October 22, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks, Skunky. Between the Buttons and Sticky Fingers are among my favorite Stones’ recordings, but I like lots of their stuff from many different periods and styles.

    It occurred to me, though, that not everybody may know what I’m talking about. “Schmatta” or “Shmatta” is a transliteration of the Yiddish word for “rags,” but can also be used to describe clothing generally (not necessarily always low quality), and, like many a Yiddish expression is context driven. HBO had a documentary entitled “Schmatta: Rags to Riches.” I understand that word actually has Polish origins.

    Schmatta is one of those interesting Yiddish words that has entered the mainstream–at least among the hip, as evidenced by the Mick and Keith lyric referred to above. (Another great Yiddish word I like is “shpilkes.” I first head that word used by Sammy Davis, Jr.–who converted to Judaism, thanks to his friend Eddie Cantor, another great entertainer from an even earlier generation. One time, before the curtain went up on a show, Sammy said he typically felt “shpilkes”–i.e., “pins,” agitation, or nervousness.)

    As for 7th Avenue, that refers to what’s often called Fashion Avenue in New York City. (New York sometimes uses dual names for streets, like “Avenue of the Americas” is more commonly called 6th Avenue.)

    To complete this schmatta story, there’s an impressive statue of a Jewish immigrant tailor on Fashion Avenue. Here’s a photo:

    The statue was sculpted by Judith Weller, and if you read the description plate, you’ll see that the man was actually intended to depict Ms. Weller’s grandfather.

    Ralph Adamo on October 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Knew nothing of ODLR and/or his politics but when I wore his cologne, the sassy positive comments from women never stopped. Then you could never seem to find it anywhere. I used to cross the border and stock up at the Duty Free shops until it just became too much trouble.

Skunky….indeed. His mind is a terrible thing.

#1 Vato on October 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Oscar de la Renta–Rest in Peace.

JeffE on October 21, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Skunky you and Alfredo took me home with the references about The Rolling Stones. My dad still won’t give me his Sticky Fingers album. About the main topic Oscar De La Renta. He was the fashion icon the put the U.S. and NYC on the map. He was so good that he did manage to make both a horse(SJ Parker)and a buffalo (FLOTUS) look decent. The fact that he criticized Idi Amin Dada(sorry Mrsmallbrain if you can’t get that joke there’s no hope for you)makes up for the fact that he made the gown for Looney Clooney’s beard, er I mean wife. His stuff was second to none and he will be missed. May he rest in peace.

Ken B on October 22, 2014 at 8:27 pm

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