Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Blue and White with Oscar de la Renta

As much as I love blue and white (and I do, I promise), I feel as though there is blue and white...and then there is blue and white! What I mean, I suppose, is that there is classic blue and white, proper blue and white, and tailored blue and white. But what's really rare is blue and white with some sizzle. Forget about this kind of blue and white being cool; rather, it's positively on fire. The look incorporates bold blues and even bolder prints, and everything is thrown together with complete insouciance. Then again, is the look really achieved in such a carefree manner? That I don't know. But, what I do know is that Oscar de la Renta has given us some of the hottest blue and white rooms ever. Unfortunately, I can only find a scant three photos to prove my point. But, based on what I have found, I'd say that he really has a way with blue and white.

A 1969 photo of Francoise and Oscar de la Renta's Manhattan apartment.

A Porthault clad table in de la Renta's dining room c. 1971. Horst, photographer.

Image at top: A c. 1980s photo of de la Renta at his Casa de Campo home.


  1. The room in the 1969 photo wouldn't work for me. I presume it was done with Denning and Fourcade, at the forefront of the Belle Époque Revival that was to follow. It is very attractive, but the table lamps on the garden stools would drive me crazy, looking down into the light bulbs. ( Some of your readers might know otherwise, but I don't think these rooms survive today).

  2. Always adore anything Oscar does + love his blue & white having said that... the lamps on the garden stools don't work for me! Their proportion is off. Great Post

  3. I usually love everything that Oscar de la REnta does. But with the second image (and I love blue and white) I'm left with the feeling that everything is a bit too staggy (sp?). There is simply too much going on and no place to settle my eye or my spirit. The same goes for the table setting--it is gorgeous, but would overwhelm the reason for being at table--the food. But you really made me think. Thanks. Mary

  4. I think that everybody makes valid points here. I would say that the #2 and #3 photos are evocative of the late 1960s/early 70s era when everything was wild and BOLD!

  5. Like anything else, if it is done with conviction and panache, then it works. That room with the mirror is very reminiscent of a room I once saw a picture of, covered floor to ceiling in Portuguese faience mural tiles! The lamps on the garden stools are a cute idea that might get old quickly, but the bigger idea of the room is smashing.

  6. I am in complete agreement with you about there being blue and white and there being AMAZING BLUE & WHITE! I think there needs to be lots of layers and I agree with you also in that Oscar does it so well! I love it most when it looks thrown together and mismatched and imperfect but I do think there is a method!!

    GREAT POST!!!!!!!!

    Hope you are well!

  7. I always am completely inspired by the color blue and the myriad of patterns. Chinoisserie, Indigo Ikats, Engraved prints and watery blues....
    I am so glad Anna sent me here to read this post.
    Amazing blue and white seems so easy to love.

  8. Anonymous6:00 PM

    I am a huge blue and white fan but the only image that works for me here is the first one with Oscar de la Renta and those fabulous seat cushions (cf. Nicky Haslam's 'Via Knapp'). To me the King of blue and white was the late Roger Banks-Pye of Siblyl Colefax and Fowler.

  9. Anon- I'm glad you mentioned Roger Banks-Pye. I forgot about his use of blue and white, but now that you mention it, he really did know how best to use the two colors.

  10. I love the 2nd photo, Maybe a foyer. I think this is real interior design, this is what I belive it is all about. I was trained in the late 60's when Interior design was for the chosen ...NOT every fool that shops at target,and watches the idoit on flipping out...This is still beautiful today ...

  11. His interior looks so chic , He knows how to do it well