Friends and family of Oscar de la Renta attended a private funeral for the designer in Manhattan on Monday morning. The service was held at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola at Park Avenue and 84th Street. De la Renta died Oct. 20 at age 82, following a long battle with cancer.
Barricades lined the perimeter of the church, with a fleet of New York Police Department officers and a handful of Secret Service agents stalking the premises. Black cars snailed down Park Avenue, inching toward the church to drop off scores of celebrities, politicians and other notables, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hugh Jackman and Deborah Furness, Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols, Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky, Anna Wintour, Annie Leibovitz, Matthew Broderick (arriving without wife Sarah Jessica Parker, who is filming in Italy), Lauren Santo Domingo, Michael Bloomberg, Barbara Walters, Rupert Murdoch, Leonard Lauder, Aerin Lauder, Graydon Carter, Robbie Myers, Linda Wells, Grace Coddington and First Lady of the Dominican Republic Cándida Montilla de Medina.
The fashion world was well represented, as well, with Michael Kors, Vera Wang, Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, Francisco Costa, David Neville and Gucci Westman, Karlie Kloss, Donna Karan, Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, Peter Copping, Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch and Stephen Burrows. Retail industry representatives included Karen Katz and Ken Downing, Marigay McKee and Stephen I. Sadove.
“It’s a sad day, obviously, and I just feel lucky in my short eight years at CFDA that I got to know somebody as kind and talented and important to the CFDA as Oscar,” said Steven Kolb, an early arrival.
“It’s a sunny day for Oscar. Oscar’s still with us. It’s a bittersweet day. We were just talking in the car ride over,” Linda Fargo added on her way in to the church, motioning to colleague Joshua Schulman, “about how he was so elegant and set a bar for all of us. He handled his illness with such grace.”
Laura Bush, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush were among the first to exit after the service, the daughters looking teary-eyed as they proceeded out the side entrance. Walters and Henry Kissinger followed behind.
“It was a solemn, spiritual service commemorating a man who was so wonderful and giving,” Walters said. Clinton also ducked out of the side entrance into a waiting black van, while her daughter and Mezvinsky left from the front, walking down the steps with Charlie Rose, von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, Rose’s arm slung around Diller. The crowd poured out the front onto the sidewalk, spilling onto the street. “It was exquisitely beautiful and exquisitely sad,” Carolyne Roehm said. “But the lovely part is that you get to see so many old friends. I just saw someone who worked at Oscar with me in the Seventies. There’s just so much love here.”