Oscar de la Renta, who died today at the age of 82, in many ways set the tone for American fashion, dressing everyone from First Ladies to movie stars. He quickly became a one-name wonder, and “I’m wearing Oscar” became synonymous with discerning taste and inspired countless paler imitators. From his early days designing in the 1960s, de la Renta always followed a feminine, dramatic blueprint. Whether it was the tiered polka-dot frock Pat Cleveland wore in his 1979 holiday show or the island-ready bandeau and skirt Gisele shimmied down the runway in back in 2000, his designs were unfailingly flirtatious, feminine, and sexy without being showy. Some of his trademarks included dramatic flamenco ruffles, bell sleeves, tropical prints, and boleros — often topped off with a dramatic hat.
Click through our slideshow to look back at some of the designer’s signature moments from almost 50 years in the business.