Doris Clare Zinkeisen (31 July 1898 – 3 January 1991) was a Scottish theatrical stage and costume designer, painter, commercial artist, and writer. She was best known for her work in theatrical design.
Doris Zinkeisen was born in Clynder House in Rosneath, Argyll, Scotland. her father Victor Zinkeisen was a timber merchant and amateur artist from Glasgo whose family were originally from Bohemia and had been settled in Scotland for two hundred years. She had a younger sister, Anna Zinkeisen, who also became an artist.The family left Scotland and moved to Pinner, near Harrow in 1909. Zinkeisen attended the Harrow School of Art for four years and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools in 1917 together with her sister Anna. During World War I Zinkeisen served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment at a hospital in Northwood, Middlesex.
Zinkeisen shared a studio in London with her sister during the 1920s and 1930s from where she embarked on her career as a painter, commercial artist, and theatrical designer.
Zinkeisen's realist style made her popular as a portraitist and she became a well-known society painter. The subject matter of her paintings, society portraiture, equestrian portraiture, and scenes from the parks of London and Paris reflect the lifestyle of the upper class at the time. An early success was her 1925 portrait of the actor Elsa Lanchester.
She also worked widely in other media as an illustrator and commercial artist including producing advertising posters for several British mainline railway companies and murals for the RMS Queen Mary.
Zinkeisen produced a number of posters for London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), Southern Railway (SR), and the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) in the 1930s which often featured historical themes.
In 1935, John Brown and Company Shipbuilders of Clydebank commissioned both of the Zinkeisen sisters to paint the murals in the Verandah Grill, a restaurant and night-club on the ocean liner the RMS Queen Mary. The murals, on the theme of entertainment, depicted circus and theatre scenes and can still be seen on the ship, now permanently moored in Long Beach, California. Zinkeisen was also involved in planning the interior decoration which featured a parquet dance floor surrounded by black Wilton carpets, star-studded red velvet curtains and a sweeping illuminated balustrade whose colours changed in time with the music. Writing in Vogue in 1936, Cecil Beaton described the Verandah Grill as 'By far the prettiest room on any ship – becomingly lit, gay in colour and obviously so successful that it would be crowded if twice its present size'. The largest mural was damaged during World War II and restored by Zinkeisen after the war.
The Zinkeisen sisters also contributed murals to the RMS Queen Elizabeth in 1940.
During World War II, Zinkeisen joined the St John Ambulance Brigade and worked as a nurse in London. She worked in the casualty department in St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. Zinkeisen worked in the casualty department in the mornings and painted in the afternoons, recording the events of the day.
In 1944, Doris and her sister Anna were commissioned by United Steel Companies (USC) to produce twelve paintings that were reproduced in the trade and technical press in Britain, Canada, Australia and South Africa. The images were subsequently collated in a book, This Present Age, published in 1946.
Following the liberation of Europe in 1945, Zinkeisen was commissioned by the War Artists' Advisory Committee as a war artist for the North West Europe Commission of the Joint War Organisation of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John (JWO). Based in Brussels at the commission's headquarters she recorded the commission's post-war relief work in north west Europe including the rehabilitation and repatriation of prisoners of war and civilian internees. Zinkeisen traveled by lorry or by air throughout north-west Europe making sketches which she brought back to her studio in the commission's headquarters for further work.
By the time Zinkeisen had become a war artist her palette had already darkened from the colours of her society paintings. Her war paintings use muted greys, browns, and ochres like contemporaries such as Eric Ravilious and Stanley Spencer.
Despite her success as a painter and commercial artist she was best known as a theatrical designer. And Zinkeisen was a successful stage and costume designer for plays and films.
She started to work in stage design as soon as she completed her studies at the Royal Academy. Her first job was working for the actor-manager Nigel Playfair. Playfair wanted Zinkeisen to sing in the productions, but Zinkeisen insisted on remaining behind the scenes. One of the first plays she worked on was Clifford Bax and Playfair's 1923 adaptation of The Insect Play. Claude Rains who played three roles in the play described Zinkeisen as "a stunning women".
In 1922, while working with Nigel Playfair, Zinkeisen met James Whale. The two were considered a couple for some two years, despite Whale's living as an openly gay man. The couple was reportedly engaged in 1924 but by 1925 the engagement was off.
Zinkeisen married Edward Grahame Johnstone, a naval officer in 1927, and they had twin daughters in June 1928 Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone, who would become children's book illustrators, and a son Murray Johnstone who would become a fine horsewoman and won the Moscow Cup at the International Horse Show in 1934.
Zinkeisen became the chief stage and costume designer for Charles B. Cochran's popular London revues. Cochran described her work in an article published in The Studio magazine in 1927.
Miss Doris Zinkeisen seems to me to follow the best traditions of English theatrical decoration... She can now create costumes for all moods and times, and capture with equal facility the acid fervour of puritanism or the sweet lyricism of a faun... this young decorator, at her early age is, in my opinion, in the front rank of British designers.
— Charles B. Cochran, The Studio (1927)
In 1928, Zinkeisen designed the costumes for This Year of Grace by Noël Coward at the London Pavilion. In 1933, Zinkeison designed the decor and costumes for Cochran's production of Cole Porter's musical Nymph Errant at the Adelphi Theatre in London. The décolletage formed by the low cut design of one of the costumes resulted in a strike by the chorus against the perceived indecency of the costume. During the Second World War, she designed costumes and sets for the Old Vic Company productions of Arms and the Man and Richard III at the New Theatre.
Zinkeisen was a costume designer on a number of Herbert Wilcox films, including the film version of Noël Coward's operetta Bitter Sweet (1933), The Little Damozel, which included a nearly transparent dress. Wilcox's 1932 film The Blue Danube was based on a short story by Zinkeisen. British-born director James Whale specifically requested Zinkeisen to design the costumes for the only American film she ever worked on, the 1936 screen version of the musical Show Boat. It remains today the most popular and highly regarded film that Zinkeisen worked on.
In 1938 she wrote Designing for the Stage, a book regarded by Sue Harper, Professor of Film History, as an "influential innovation".
After the war, Zinkeisen continued to work in London as a theatrical designer and held occasional exhibitions of her paintings. She designed the cover of a special edition of Everybody's Magazine to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953. In 1954, Zinkeisen designed the scenery and costumes for Noël Coward's musical, After the Ball, based on Oscar Wilde's play, Lady Windermere's Fan.
In 1955, Zinkeisen created Laurence Olivier's make-up for the film version of Richard III.
After the death of her husband Grahame Johnstone in 1946, Zinkeisen's twin girls Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone lived with their mother. Zinkeisen outlived her daughter Janet who died in an accident in 1979.
Doris Zinkeisen died on 3 January 1991, in Badingham, Suffolk, aged 92.
Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo (22 July 1932 – 20 October 2014), known professionally as Oscar de la Renta, was a Dominican fashion designer. Born in Santo Domingo, he was trained by Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo. De la Renta became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers who dressed Jacqueline Kennedy. He worked for Lanvin and Balmain. His eponymous fashion house has boutiques around the world including in Harrods of London and Madison Avenue in New York.
Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo, the youngest of seven children and the only boy in his family, was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to a Dominican mother, Carmen María Antonia Fiallo, and a Puerto Rican father, Óscar Avelino De La Renta, owner of an insurance company. His mother's family were so embedded in Dominican society that they could count poets, scholars, and businessmen, as well as top army brass among their members. One maternal received every degree the University of Santo Domingo could offer, and another maternal uncle was a diplomat and poet.
On his father's side, De la Renta's great-great grandfather José Ortíz de la Renta was the first mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico, elected by popular vote and who had the distinction of serving as mayor eight times, the most ever for the city.
De la Renta was raised Catholic in a protective family. His mother died from complications of multiple sclerosis when he was 18.
At the age of 18, he went to study painting in Spain at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. For extra money, he drew clothes for newspapers and fashion houses. After Francesca Lodge, the wife of John Davis Lodge, the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, saw some of his dress sketches, she commissioned de la Renta to design a gown for her daughter. The dress appeared on the cover of Life magazine that fall. He quickly became interested in the world of fashion design and began sketching for leading Spanish fashion houses, which soon led to an apprenticeship with Spain's most renowned couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga. He considered Cristóbal Balenciaga his mentor.
In 1961, de la Renta left Spain to join Antonio del Castillo as a couture assistant at Lanvin in Paris.
In 1963, de la Renta turned to Diana Vreeland, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, for advice, saying that what he really wanted was to "get into ready to wear, because that's where the money is". Vreeland replied, "Then go to Arden because you will make your reputation faster. She is not a designer, so she will promote you. At the other place, you will always be eclipsed by the name of Dior." De la Renta proceeded to work for Arden for two years in New York City before he went to work for Jane Derby, an American fashion house. When Derby died in August 1965, de la Renta took over the label.
In 1966, de la Renta became the third husband of Françoise de Langlade (1921–1983), an editor-in-chief of French Vogue who once worked for the fashion house of Elsa Schiaparelli. They were married until she died of cancer in 1983. After her death, de la Renta adopted a boy from the Dominican Republic and named him Moisés.
In 1967 and 1968, de la Renta won the Coty Award (the U.S. fashion industry "Oscars") and in 1973 was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame.
From 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988, he served as President of the CFDA. He is also a two-time winner of the American Fashion Critic's Award.
In 1977, de la Renta launched his fragrance, OSCAR, followed by an accessories line in 2001 and a homewares line in 2002. The new business venture included 100 home furnishings for Century Furniture featuring dining tables, upholstered chairs, and couches.
In February 1990, he was honored with the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award. That same year, the designer married Annette Engelhard (born 1939).
From 1993 to 2002, de la Renta designed the haute couture collection for the house of Balmain, becoming the first Dominican to design for a French couture house.
In 2004, he added a less expensive line of clothing called O Oscar. De la Renta said he wanted to attract new customers whom he could not reach before. In 2006, the Oscar de la Renta label diversified into bridal wear.
De la Renta's designs have been worn by a diverse group of distinguished women and celebrities. De la Renta's brand saw international wholesale growth beginning in 2003, under the direction of CEO Alex Bolen, from five to seventy-five locations. De la Renta's ready-to-wear designs are available in his retail stores, online, and with select wholesale partners worldwide.
De la Renta was regarded as an unofficial ambassador of the Dominican Republic, his home country, and held a diplomatic passport. He had homes there in Casa de Campo and Punta Cana, in addition to his residence in Kent, Connecticut.
In 2006, de la Renta designed Tortuga Bay, a boutique hotel at Puntacana Resort and Club. The hotel is part of the luxury hotel collection, The Leading Hotels of the World.
That same year De la Renta was diagnosed with cancer. A year later at the CFDA "Fashion Talks" event, Executive Director Fern Mallis called him "The Sultan of Suave". At that event, he spoke of his cancer, saying:
Yes, I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.
De la Renta's talents received continual international recognition. Among them, he received the Council of Fashion Designers Designer of the Year Award in 2000 and in 2007 (tied with Proenza Schouler). King Juan Carlos of Spain bestowed de la Renta with two awards, the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes and the La Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil. He was recognized by the French government with the Légion d'honneur as a Commandeur.
In 2014, the George W. Bush Presidential Center hosted an exhibit entitled "Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style" which shared the designer's creations for Mrs. Bush and America's First Ladies.
De la Renta died of complications from cancer on October 20, 2014, at his home in Kent, Connecticut, at the age of 82.
De la Renta had stepchildren from both marriages. His son-in-law Alex Bolen currently operates as Chief Executive Officer, and stepdaughter Eliza Bolen serves as Vice President of Licensing at Oscar de la Renta, LLC.
Lynn Wyatt (born July 16, 1935) is a Houston socialite, philanthropist and third-generation Texan. Her grandfather and great-uncle started the Sakowitz Department Store chain. Her husband, Oscar Wyatt, is an energy executive, the founder of Houston's Coastal Corporation—now owned by El Paso Corporation —and current CEO of NuCoastal LLC. Lynn and Oscar Wyatt have four sons.
During the height of the oil boom in the 1970s/early 1980s, the family mansion in Houston was known as the "Wyatt Hyatt" becoming a "home away from home" for people including Princess Margaret, Princess Grace of Monaco, Bill Blass, Joan Collins, Mick Jagger, King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan.
Lynn Wyatt is the daughter of Bernard and Ann Baum Sakowitz (July 28, 1913 - January 18, 2010, San Antonio), a prominent couple in Houston's Jewish circles who were married in July 1933. Lynn Wyatt's mother Ann was once in negotiations with Louis B. Meyer for a movie acting contract, but abandoned it on her husband Bernard's objection. They also had a son, Robert T. Sakowitz (born c. 1939), known as the merchant prince of Houston. The Sakowitz family owned the Sakowitz fashion specialty stores.
Lynn Wyatt married oil magnate Oscar Wyatt in 1963. They have four sons, Steven Bradford Wyatt, Douglas Bryan Wyatt (born c. 1957), Oscar Sherman "Trey" Wyatt III, and Bradford Allington Wyatt.
Lynn Wyatt has appeared in American Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country and W through the years. She is a friend and patron of couturiers Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, Emanuel Ungaro, Bill Blass, Jean Paul Gaultier and others. She was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1977.
In 1982 the Government of France honored her with admission to the prestigious Order of Arts and Letters, rank of Chevalier, for her significant contribution to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance. In 2007, the French government promoted her to the Order's rank of Officier.
In 2000 she was recognized as "Socialite of the Century" by Texas Monthly magazine.
To benefit the Red Cross and the American Hospital of Paris, Lynn Wyatt chaired the annual Bal de la Rose in Monaco, turning it into an entire weekend of festivities. Prince Rainier asked her to be a Founding Trustee of the Princess Grace Foundation U.S.A. on which Board she continues to serve.
She is involved in various charitable commitments such as Houston Grand Opera, for which she chaired the Opera's record-setting 50th anniversary Golden Jubilee Gala, which raised US$ 2.5 million and brought in internationally recognized stars including Roger Moore, Sarah, Duchess of York, Renée Fleming, Bryn Terfel, Philip Glass and Elton John. Wyatt also contributes to charities like the Elton John AIDS Foundation, The Brilliant Lecture Series' Youth Leadership Program, Star of Hope Mission for the Homeless, etc.
In 2008, she was elected to the inaugural board of the Houston-based Medical Prevention and Research Institute. She has a personal interest in disease prevention, human health and wellness and complementary/integrative medicine.