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dsc_0200-2So I might not be an American nor do I get a public holiday, but I can still appreciate, remember, celebrate and acknowledge; the man, the Christian, the leader, the nonviolent civil rights activist and the great; that was Martin Luther King. As a child I was told about Martin Luther King Jr and his movement from a young age (at home); I was told about his honour, his persona, his heart, his fight (non physical of course) and most of all; I was told about his DREAM.

Ironically with this week’s agenda; Friday 20th Jan 2017 in particular (Trump’s inauguration *shakes head*); my next point is somewhat invalid. However, lets not forget that for the last 8 year – Yes, 2 Terms- we’ve had a black man in the White House. The leader of the Free World was an African-American. The President of the United States (again, for eight years) was a man of colour. For that we owe more than just thanks or a single day to remember Martin Luther King. Without great leaders like MLK we would not be as we are today.

In 2011 the MLK memorial was built and opened to the public. Lucky for me I was not only in the U.S at the time but I also happened to go to Washington D.C. Thus, I had the pleasure of visiting such amazing and deeply touching memorial- so today I dug this [pictured] out to share!

Although celebrated on the third Monday of Jan (to accommodate your typical public holiday), King’s birthday is actually on the 15th (yesterday) – Happy belated birthday Martin Luther King Jr!

1957-1968, and today in 2017 his spirit lives on. Happy MLK Day!

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…Also known as “Poppy Day” is a memorial day, marking the end of the First World War and in remembrance of all armed forces who have died in the line of duty (then and since). Remembrance Day is often observed at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month (11am on the 11th of November).

Given this day (and most of the month) is often represented with a poppy; I have chosen to mark today with an appropriately fitting piece from one of my all-time favourite designers, the late and amazing; Oscar De La Renta!

 

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Taking it back to De La Renta’s Spring/Summer collection in 2007, I couldn’t go wrong with marking today at 11:00 (along with a minute silence) with this fashion tribute. Originally designed to remember the lives lost and those affected by 9/11, this tennis inspired dress is one of many pieces from De La Renta’s S/S 07 collection; and one to which Ms Anna Wintour loved.

Staying true to the De La Renta style, he kept he collection very feminine; with gentle, flowy structures, knee-high hemlines and florals [of course!]. Also, accompanied with tennis rackets and beach bags, the models represented a true summer feel  as they strutted down the runway in September 2007. Whilst is was a light, happy and summery collection, Oscar De La Renta also wanted to acknowledge the significance of memorial day. In his notes, he wrote

Five years ago today, as I was preparing for the opening of the spring show, tragedy struck us all. Today, we honour the memory of those who died…”

Whilst he may have been talking about the American people and victims of the World Trade Centre tragedy, the imagery of the poppy is used to remember all lives lost in war and terrorism. 8 years on, Mr. De La Renta has also left this world.

R.I.P. to him and all those who have died for their country.

Aged 82 and having battled with cancer for a decade, gown extraordinaire, Oscar De La Renta died yesterday. As one of the designers that put New York on the map in the 70s and 80s, the man who dressed several first ladies and even more famous figures on the red carpet and some down the isle, De La Renta will surly be missed.

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Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in spain, De La Renta worked with Cristobal Balenciaga and Elizabeth Arden before starting his own label in Manhattan in 1965. The fashion icon who’s approach was to make a woman “feel her best”, won awards for his amazing bridal collections and was considered “King of the Evening”. De La Renta never did anything by halves. He was a true contributor to high fashion as well as bridal wear and will never be forgotten.

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Clooney’s wife; Amal Alamuddin and De La Renta [right]

Just weeks ago he put on a fabulous show at New York Fashion Week and more recently, dressed George Clooney’s new bride. Due to his exquisite designs that left you somewhat speechless and his elegant approach, he was a personal favourite of mines. Every design was so unique, beautiful and well thought through. From every layer of lace, every floral pattern and every sequin sewed on to every section of embroidery and every fit and flare; Oscar De La Renta’s collections were both flawless and faultless every single time. Whenever a beautifully immaculate, jaw-dropping and standout gown was worn down the runway, red carpet, awards ceremony or inaugural ball; you knew when it was a De La Renta dress, without reading the caption. His designs were statement-making yet in a discrete and elegant way. Everything about his work was beautiful and i loved it (still do). You can’t not admire his work. He truly is a legendary designer.

To the man who battled with cancer for 10 years and didn’t let it knock him down; Rest In Peace Oscar De La Renta.

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