We had all gone to the Metropolitan Opera together, Annette and Oscar (De La Renta) followed by flashbulbs. I noticed how protective Oscar was of his fiancee, cradling her from photographers and making sure she was never left alone in milling well-wishers outside our box. That, I thought, is the kind of man I’d like to have at my side. After I had been lucky to marry precisely that sort of man, Conrad and I began to see more of the de la Rentas.
Oscar saw things differently. “Don’t ever lose your decolletage,” he said when I came out of the swimming pool. I didn’t understand. Sure enough, six years later, I had lost it – the roundness of flesh over bones had been replaced by the semi-emaciated looks of bosoms balanced on a pigeon breast structure. I had become fashionably gaunt.
When last summer I was invited to a wonderful ball in the U.K, I chose an Oscar gown from Toronto’s ‘the Room’ at Hudson’s Bay. Unfortunately, it was strapless and my arms and chest were in the decay Oscar had foreseen. I emailed him in despair. “Wrap yourself in clouds of tulle,” he said. A package of tulle, via his close colleague Boaz Mazur, arrived in Toronto. I wrapped myself in it and swanned in. Just as I know Oscar, a practicing Roman Catholic, fine and decent, of charity and mercy, will now be wrapped, exalted and luxuriating in heaven’s embroidered cloths of gold.
–Barbara Amiel, Maclone’s, Nov. 3, 2014.