Oscar de la Renta, whose designs are currently on display as part of an exhibition at the Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas, appeared on CBS This Morning this er … morning, to talk about his career dressing America's First Ladies (and how he hopes to someday dress Michelle Obama), his relationship with John Galliano (the former Dior designer recently sat down for an hour-long interview with This Morning co-host Charlie Rose) and how fashion has evolved over the past few decades, in accordance with women's changing social roles and newfound economic independence.
On designing for First Ladies:
NORAH O'DONNELL: You have dressed every First Lady for half a century.
OSCAR DE LA RENTA: Well, not all of them, but a few of them.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Not Mrs. Obama. Yes. Would you like to dress Mrs. Obama?
OSCAR DE LA RENTA: I would love to dress Mrs. Obama. I think she is a very stylish lady, and I have seen that there are a lot of young designers that have deserved that chance. You know, only in this country do we pay so much attention to what the First Lady wears. Only in this country does the First Lady have such a public image about what she does. It doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.
On John Galliano:
CHARLIE ROSE: You also befriended John Galliano after he ran into to controversy and gave him a chance to come work with you.
OSCAR DE LA RENTA: Well Anna Wintour asked me if I would have John in my studio for three weeks and I said yes of course. I have known John for 30 years. Over 35 years. He’s a very talented man. And who has not done at one point in their life something bad? John has had a lot of issues — health issues, abuse — but I like John. He’s a great guy and I was happy that I gave him that second chance and I hope that he will survive all of this because he is an extremely talented man.
Women and fashion:
OSCAR DE LA RENTA: I always said to be a good designer you have to keep your eyes open, understand the woman, and who the consumer is. How her life is, her aspirations. You know, today is a very difficult time to be a designer because it’s the most exciting time. Never, never has there been a woman that controls her destiny as much as the woman today. You don’t have to go to your boyfriend, husband, or whoever and ask, “Can I buy that dress?” You are making your own choices.
And then from a web extra, which didn't air on television, some remarks on Huma Abedin in light of new revelations about Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal:
NORAH O’DONNELL: Huma Abedin. You designed her wedding gown, and I know you’re very friendly with her. What do you think about what’s going on?
OSCAR DE LA RENTA: I feel very, very sorry for Huma, because I think she’s a wonderful, great girl. And I wasn’t sure they had spoken to anyone about it. She had never disclosed it with anyone.
NORAH O’DONNELL: Yes, it was the first time we heard her speak publicly, yesterday. She’s very private as you know
CHARLIE ROSE: You don’t think she’s even discussed it with people who you might expect her to talk about it with?
OSCAR DE LA RENTA: I don’t think she has. You know I think in life, people do deserve a second chance. A third and a fourth? I doubt it.
Transcript and video courtesy of CBS This Morning