“I can’t remember how I had the courage to be friends with him — he was so otherworldly in a way,” Sarah Jessica Parker tells The Hollywood Reporter about meeting Oscar de la Renta for the very first time.
Parker and de la Renta had become close over the last fifteen years, working a lot together for big red carpet events and often when dressing SJP’s on-screen character Carrie Bradshaw.
But despite all their moments together, one sticks out in her memory.
“I don’t remember exactly the first time I met Mr. de la Renta. But I do remember the first dress I borrowed from him: from spring 2000, it was look 67. I had been asked to do an event for Sex and the City,” she recalls. “And I remember the first time I was invited to Mr. de la Renta’s office and asked if he might build a dress for me for the 2000 Emmys. It turned out to be a pink dress with a feathered skirt that people had a lot of opinions about — mostly because I tied a big piece of tulle on my arm.”
From those beginning moments, Parker knew things in her fashion world would never be the same for de la Renta’s creations became glorious thrills in her life.
“It was always a momentous occasion in my life when he would build a dress for me — for the Emmys, the Met Ball, for my 40th birthday at the Plaza. [And] when Fashion’s Night Out started happening in 2009, I spent all those nights with Mr. de la Renta in his store on Madison, and it was a real honor.”
The actress also found out fashion wasn’t his only talent. “The first year I got there, he said, ‘Let’s sing!’ He loved singing, sang beautifully. He was a muscular singer; it was one of the things he most enjoyed. He sang with mariachi bands, he delighted in any opportunity to create a festive environment. We did show tunes one year, mariachi another year — he even serenaded me.”
The memories they created together grew so fond on Parker, she began making a tradition out of it. “On every Fashion’s Night Out, I had to be at Mr. de la Renta’s store when he was there — it was planned around his arrival and his exit.”
So when the news of his passing made it to her ears, Parker realized things in the fashion world–and her own world–would never be the same again.
She writes, “All I can think today is, ‘That’s it. That’s done, that extraordinary moment in time that he created.'”
She adds, “The reality of his absence means a momentous shift. There are wonderfully talented designers, emerging and upperclassmen, but he really was singular, and he has left a vacuum. Others will come along and will eventually make ball gowns with pockets in them — with stripes and polka dots, garden party gowns. But nobody is meant to fill the void. They can’t.”
But Parker had to end her tribute with one last tidbit of information about her beloved friend. “It also needs to be said that there was no one more handsome.”