Bridget Foley’s Diary: An Oscar Moment at the CFDA


It’s hardly a news flash that Oscar de la Renta is suave, as suave as it gets. He is one of fashion’s most elegant purveyors, a highly respected emissary as at home among those reached by his philanthropic interests as in circles of power. And with members from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton, who will present him with the CFDA’s Founders Award on Monday, those circles are powerful indeed.

Oscar stands as the elegant elder statesman of American fashion despite a fearlessness that flies in the face of pc practicality. Exhibit A: John Galliano. Exhibits B, C, D, etc: Any number of controversial industry positions he has vocalized over the years. Oscar puts on the record the kind of bold opinions that some will voice off the record, and others, to trusted intimates only. When we meet to discuss his upcoming award, he’s feeling particularly feisty. While “very pleased and very honored” to receive the Founders Award, he doesn’t quite understand what his “unique contribution” — the award’s explanatory description — has been, while noting that he’d rather be up for Women’s Wear Designer of the Year.

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