Thank You So Much for Your Good Wishes & Now Some Sad News


Oscar de la Renta, Carolyne Roehm and Bill Blass up in Connecticut where we all lived! I loved these  two talented men; Oscar my mentor in everything and Bill a fellow midwesterner – both had enormous impact on me and my life

Dear Readers,

I am not a good enough writer to put into words how much your comments and emails have meant to me. There are friends from the past, like  Dennis, my wonderful talented wood carver;  friends from long ago that I have not been in contact with for many years; and those of you who have been in contact with me, although we have never met in person. Your kind words of a speedy recovery and encouragement have been so very meaningful to me and I just want you to know this.Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I was going to make this post about how inspiring I find the  beautiful Dutch flower paintings of 17th and 18th century. But, as you know by now, my mentor and beloved friend Oscar de la Renta died last night. It is a very sad day for so many of us who loved this man. He  taught me about so much more than fashion, he was a teacher of life as well. I am currently in New York but when I return to Weatherstone on Friday, after weeks spent in NYC because of my surgery and my friend’s surgery, I shall prepare a blog about my time spent with this dear and amazing man, as seen through the eyes of a very young woman from Missouri.

I shall miss him dreadfully; he was such an important and everlasting influence on my life.

“I love you, dear Oscar.  Goodbye.”  Carolyne

43 thoughts on “Thank You So Much for Your Good Wishes & Now Some Sad News

  1. Lovely, touching photo. As were your comments. Hope you are continuing to heal well, despite this heartbreaking news.

    The world will be a lot less interesting — and a lot less beautiful — without Mr. de la Renta in it.

  2. When I heard of Oscar’s passing yesterday, I immediately thought of you Carolyne, and how you first worked with him. You will continue to inspire us with what he taught you and his legacy will continue. May he rest in peace and may your heart be encouraged to know you are passing a little of Oscar on to all of your readers. Thank you! Lucy

  3. I heard about Oscar’s passing this morning. I’m so sorry for your loss Carolyne. He was a remarkable man and very much loved by many. Godspeed to him. Sending you many warm wished for healing and loads of positive, strong energy.

  4. Dear Carolyne, So very sorry for your loss of such a good friend. You’ve been through so much recently. Many blessings, Elizabeth

  5. A photo for you to treasure,along with the wonderful memories you must have.Feeling sad for you at this time.
    Wishing you a complete recovery from such a traumatic experience.Take care.

  6. My first thought, after I heard the news of Mr. de la Renta’s passing, was of you. You have my deepest sympathies. Sally

  7. Carolyn, terrible news on Oscar. A true Icon , and not to be repeated. Very sad. Sending you good vibes for your recovery. Elaine/Bing

  8. Dear Carolyne,
    When I heard the news on the “Today” show this morning, my first thought was of you. Through the years, in many of your posts and your books, you have referred to Oscar de laRenta. I always felt that he had a major influence on your life and your work. I send my sympathies to you and his family. You were blessed to have know such a fine gentleman. Kind regards, Ethel

  9. Dear Carolyne,

    So glad you are well.

    So very sorry for the loss of Mr. De La Renta – the most extradionary designer.
    Please take care and I thought of you yesterday ♡♡♡♡


  10. I had just enjoyed reading the article in American Vogue about his design of Amal Alamuddins wedding dress….
    He has been a legend for a very long time and this latest article highlighted his unique talent….
    So sorry you have lost a true friend Carolyn….

  11. I thought of you when I heard this news – knowing of your time with him – I often still think of the photo of you in the dress – I can’t recall what book it’s in; you are indeed a very lucky person to have had his inspiration and guidance; yesterday in Saks on the designer floor when you got off the escalator, they had a beautiful dress of his and flowers; I stopped to pay tribute……..

  12. Sorry for your loss. I grew up in Manila, Philippines and watched you all thru Style with Elsa Klensch way back in the day. I hope the passing of Mr de la Renta will inspire you to go back to Fashion design, I admire your style a lot. Condolences again.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. I thought of you when I read of Mr De La Renta’s passing. Carolyne, you were blessed to have him as a mentor and friend. We will not see the likes of Oscar De La Renta again. Take care and am glad you are feeling better.

  14. We met for the first time at Oscar’s. You were with Henry ( he was wearing a lavender shirt!) and you were wearing a wonderfully colorful gypsy-inspired outfit. We were by the pool, surrounded by white flowers and rich blue agapanthus, and I remember the pool house was filled with wonderful Redoute paintings of roses. Itzhak Perlman was there, his glasses pushed back on his bald head, and Alex Liberman played chess with Oscar while Tatiana watched in her giant sunglasses. You were vibrant, funny, and very beautiful. Our lives have changed, but I treasure the memories of our friendship. Oscar meant the world to me, and also taught me so much about life. Happier days. We lived next door and Oscar brought us into his magical inner circle. For my birthday gift one year, he spent a day with me sharing every aspect of his design process. We went through his building in the City, and I met everyone who worked with him. Seamstresses, embroiderers, models, etc. After lunch he offered me anything from his day or evening collection. After trying on countless glittering evening gowns (I was a size 8 then!), I kept a cobalt blue wool coat that I wear to this day. Christmas morning, a driver pulled up to my home and and handed me a large gold box. The gift was a cobalt blue sequined evening dress! Oscar supported an orphanage in his loved Dominican Republic and quietly helped countless people. I have never met anyone like him- pure magic. I am spending this rainy day writing down all my memories of my beloved Oscar de la Renta. He was a humanitarian, an extraordinary gardener, elegant, a brilliantly original designer, mischievous, handsome, a perfectionist, and he loved his family and friends. Right now I am remembering the scent from the giant basket of apples placed carefully by his front door which set up the sensual experience of his homes. Armfuls of roses, crackling fires, rich colors, desserts of spun gossamer, laughter, deep conversations in French, Spanish, Russian, and the extraordinary group of friends he embraced and shared. I was close to his wife Francoise and remember that when her health was failing, he planted an alle of fully grown trees that she could see from her room at Brook Hill Farm in Kent. He was constantly thinking of the feelings of others. His world was intriguing, sumptuous, glittering, and elegant, but he was warm and cozy and real. My eyes are filled with tears, but my heart knows he is in a vast garden filled with white hydrangeas, roses, blue Egyptian lilies, and flowering trees, and he is thinking of the next generous thing he could do for a friend. Good night, my Prince.

    • Dear Jennifer,
      My God how many years has it been? Until I looked up your picture I did not make the connection, a middle aged brain you know! I still think of you as Schell tho I know that was ages ago. Your comment captured him so perfectly thank you for that! I sent it on to his wife Annette as I know she would appreciate it. I hope all is well with you and your girls! fondly carolyne

  15. Dearest Carolyne,

    I have been traveling over the last 3 weeks and returned to learn of your accident/surgery and Oscar’s passing. My heart is heavy as I know yours’ is as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy recovery and of course with Oscar for a peaceful rest.

    Much love,


    • dear Christina—only those of us who worked with him could fully understand the magic1 hope all is well with you a big hug carolyne

  16. What a wonderful and special photo of you and these two very talented friends. I am sure you will cherish this forever.
    So sorry for your loss, and the tremendous loss to Mr. de la Renta’ s family!! And the world!

    May you recover quickly from your surgery!!!

    My Deepest Sympathy,

    Nitza Shawriyeh

  17. So very sorry for your loss he was a great influence on you and a dear friend ! The world will be a little less bright in his going . We all hope you will continue to heal and be on top of your health so soon . Prayers for you and his family. Kathy Clegg

  18. Such a beautiful photograph and what a wonderful blessing to have known both Bill Blass and Oscar de la Renta personally. They are indeed legends and what a life treasure to have them as friends! Prayers for a speedy recovery to you and looking forward to reading more of your fond remembrances of these two powerhouse men in design. We are given teachers along the way if only we will listen….

  19. When I read of Mr. de la Renta’s passing I thought immediately of you and of how much he meant to you. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your great friend and mentor. His designs and lifestyle were always, always a great inspiration to me, and I feel that you have kept, and will.keep, that lovely and exceptional gift alive. Thank you for that. I hope that you are recovering well and that your friend is on the mend as well. Thoughts are with you.

  20. Dear Carolyn.

    First of all, recover physically . The friends we have had in design , as a result of the
    cycle of life, come and sadly, painfully go.

    But, they are not gone. They are right there with you with all the wonderful things
    that you learned from them and they learned from you.

    March on ! Your close friends who loved beauty will never be gone in your heart
    and you are here no to continue all of the incredible works.

    Just remember they are right by your side for the rest of our life. The messages
    were given and you well received them. Celebrate their talent, wisdom and kindness
    and love of beauty.

    Wishing you a strong , healthy , happy future with all of that knowledge inside of
    you now.

    Lead on !

    Best to you.

    Jane Levy Mettler (Birmingham , Michigan)
    Mettler Interiors Inc.

    • Thank you Jane for sharing those thoughts with me –they are beautiful and very helpful thank you thank you! carolyne

  21. What a nice photo! I too thought of you after hearing of Mr. de la Renta’s passing. So sorry for your loss. You must have wonderful memories to share. He was such a sweet gentle man. He will be missed by many.

  22. What a beautiful photograph! So sorry for your loss. He was a genius. You must have many fond memories of Mr. De la Renta. My thoughts are with Annette and his family.

  23. Dear Carolyne,
    I have been an avid fan of yours for years and have all of your books. In my 63 years, very few people have inspired me to the level that I would consider them a “mentor”. You are on my “mentor list”. Whenever I am feeling down, all I need to do is open up one of your books! My dream is to host parties, dinners, and luncheons imitating every one of yours in the beautiful pictures. I have made some progress. I, too, immediately thought of you when I heard of the world’s great loss in the passing of Oscar de la Renta. I am sad for you. Take the time that you need to grieve and heal and know that you have many many fans wishing you well and looking forward to whatever you design for us next. Fondly, Marilyn

    • Thank you Marilyn—that is so very kind of you to say that –I shall cherish the thought- carolyne

  24. As sad as I am about the loss of Mr De Le Renta I can only imagine your grief ! This is a loss of not only a GREAT talent but a humanitarian who taught as all .


  25. Enjoyed seeing the Oscar de la Renta exhibit last year at The Clinton Presidential Library. His creations were stunning….and he was such a gentleman!

  26. I am sorry your dear friend passed away. He was so handsome and talented, and I hear quiet the gentleman -which doesn’t surprise me. His truly lovely designs have left an indelible mark on the fashion world. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. I hope you are improving daily. And I look forward to your tribute to him. xxRié

  27. Dear sweet Carolyne, when I heard the terribly sad news about Oscar, who I adored and worked for as VP of Marketing of his Fragrances ( before I met adorable you!) I thought of you and how devastated you would be. He was a huge force in your life on many levels, I knew. I too had an extraordinary mentor in my life in Dawn Mello, who I am still so close to, 40 years after I first worked for her at Bergdorf’s . Did you know Oscar hired her to start his Accessories biz for shoes and jewelry? How worlds intersect! I feel so sad for you yet at the same time how wonderful that you had such an extraordinary man as your mentor and friend in life. cherish all your fondest memories of the man and your great times together and I hope they bring you comfort during this difficult time. He was so proud of you, of that you can be sure. I send you my love and heartfelt condolences and a big hug,xxxBetsy

    • Dear Betsy,
      It has been so very long since I last saw you. Thank for your kind note and I hope all is well in your world a hug to you as well carolyne

  28. Carolyne,,
    Hope this note finds you well.

    Sad to hear of Oscar’s passing. I had the pleasure to meet him back in 1989 at a hotel in Del Mar California, such a class act and so very talented ,as my wife, Anita loved his clothes as she did your designs..I meet you Carolyne many moons ago at the Neiman Marcus store in Newport Beach when you where working on our friend’s Elisabeth Goth’s wedding dress..My Wife was in the wedding and you made her a beautiful yellow dress….When I see an Oscar design or a Carolyne design I smile as I do know they are special people that had a passion for design.
    Samuel Brock

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