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NEW YORK: At his Fashion Week runway show in September, Oscar de la Renta sat in his usual spot: in a chair right inside the wings, where he could carefully inspect each model just as she was about to emerge in one of his sumptuous, impeccably constructed designs.At the end of the show, the legendary designer himself emerged, supported by two of his models. De la Renta, who dressed first ladies, socialites and Hollywood stars for more than four decades, died Monday evening at his Connecticut home at age 82, only six weeks after that runway show.Photos of the smiling designer perched on a table at the dress fitting appeared in Vogue.The late '60s and early '70s were a defining moment in U.S. fashion as New York-based designers carved out a look of their own that was finally taken seriously by Europeans.Earlier this month, first lady Michelle Obama notably wore a de la Renta dress for the first time.Among Obama's predecessors favoring de la Renta were Laura Bush, who wore an icy blue gown by de la Renta to the 2005 inaugural ball, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who wore a gold de la Renta in 1997 .
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