As a child, I remember looking through my grandmother's hefty fashion tomes, tracing the outline of a princess gown, dreaming about growing up. Women in de la Renta gowns always look like women, but more importantly, they look like self-possessed, happy, comfortable women—women who wake up that morning and dress only for themselves. This kind of confidence is timeless. With the sad news of Oscar De La Renta's passing last night, the fashion industry mourned. At 82 years old, the Dominican-born designer left behind a career that defined feminine dressing, all lace and tulle and billows of silk. If anyone needs proof De La Renta's aesthetic will outlive us all—and you shouldn't—just look at our girl Nicki at the 2011 American Music Awards. In a black lace bustier and billowing green taffeta, some cotton candy-pink ringlets framing her face, she looks superhuman. And that's not a look that's going out of style.
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