An apology: A previous version of this article referred to Mr. Talley with a term that he and others deemed offensive. The term has since been removed. While it wasn’t our intention to offend Mr. Talley, for whom we have great respect, we understand his position and regret using the term. Mr. Talley, please accept our apology. —Sarah Rufca Nielsen
It's official—fashion, done right, is museum-quality art. Just look at all the institutions bringing in haute couture to appeal to new audiences of fashion plates. The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has, under Anna Wintour's watchful eye, become one of the most prominent arbiters of dress from the 15th century to present-day runways, and the Dallas Museum of Art has showed retrospectives of avant garde designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Iris van Herpen.
This fall, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will also take inspiration from the runways, presenting "The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta" this fall from Oct. 8 to Jan. 28. Curated by de la Renta's close friend, former Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley in collaboration with MFAH's Cindi Strauss, the exhibit will include approximately 90 ensembles by the designer, culled from his personal and corporate archives as well as the collections of Pierre Balmain, the French fashion house he helmed for a decade.
De la Renta, who died in 2014, had a storied half-century career: Originally from the Dominican Republic, he entered the world of fashion in 1950 while studying in Spain, becoming an assistant to Cristóbal Balenciaga in Madrid before joining the couture department of Lanvin in Paris. By 1965 he had established his own line in New York, finding international renown after dressing Jacqueline Kennedy. De la Renta became a favorite of first ladies, socialites and celebrities, weathering decades of sartorial revolutions with his classically feminine style.
The retrospective will offer a historic overview of the designer's work, focusing on how Spain, Russia, China and the garden influenced his work, and spanning de la Renta's day, evening and bridal collections.
Let's just say its the kind of museum exhibit you'll want to dress up for.