If you live in SF, go see the Oscar de la Renta exhibit at the de Young this spring. One of the greatest American designers with Latin roots and European training will win you over. The ultimate gentleman was known for his charm, kindness, and manners. His feminine elegant style was influenced by the strong women in his life. Oscar had 6 sisters, and speaks highly of his formidable mother & grandmother.
The exhibit takes you on his life path: born in the Dominican Republic, trained in Madrid and Paris, then establishing himself in New York.
The "Battle of Versailles" video, a French vs. American fashion competition from the 70's, reminded me of the French vs. American wine competition from the 70's. Learn about his Spanish influence. Gaze upon red carpet dresses worn by celebrities. My favorites were the garden room (photo above) and the Vogue mohawk room.
The romantic dresses are tastefully extravagant, and the exhibit of 130 creations will be in SF until May 30.