Oscar de la Renta, the doyen of American fashion, whose creations carried his career from the world’s top runways to the better living rooms of Paris and New York, and who was the last survivor of his generation of bold, all-seeing tastemakers, died Monday at his home in Kent, Conn. He was 82.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Annette de la Renta. The cause was complications from cancer. Though ill with cancer intermittently for close to eight years, de la Renta was resilient. During that period his business grew by 50 percent, to $150 million in sales, as his name became linked to celebrity events like the Oscars. Amy Adams, Sarah Jessica Parker and Penelope Cruz were among the actresses who wore his dresses.

Recently his biggest coup was to make the ivory tulle gown that Amal Alamuddin wore to wed George Clooney in Venice.

De la Renta, whose career began in the 1950s in Franco’s Spain, achieved fame in two distinct realms: as a couturier to rich socialites — the ladies-who-lunch, his bread and butter — and as a red-carpet king. He also dressed American first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama.

The designer had strong Bay Area connections, thanks to his support of the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s annual summer fashion show fundraiser. The runway show for hundreds of well-heeled guests along the lake’s shores had long featured American designer Bill Blass, and de la Renta assumed the reins in 1995. With his personal appearances at the shows, he expanded his West Coast client base.

He also developed bonds that lasted decades with not only many of San Francisco’s best-dressed women and fine arts supporters, but also with their daughters, and in recent years, granddaughters. Their ranks include League supporters Dolph and Emmie Andrews, the late Diana Knowles, Fine Arts Museums Board President Dede Wilsey and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

His feminine gowns were dramatic, one reason they were popular choices on gala nights. Last month, more than a dozen women wore his creations to the San Francisco Symphony and Opera openings, including Symphony President Sako Fisher, Opera gala co-chair Cynthia Schreuder and Wilsey.

De la Renta’s declining health in recent years made his presence at the Tahoe show all the more important to guests, especially this past August. Although his staff issued an alert that he would not be attending, he chided them and rallied to the cause, said top salesman Boaz Mazor, who has worked at the fashion house for 45 years.

“Oscar was the most stylish and attractive man to start with, and had more charm and knowledge than anybody — he knew the fine points of life, and at the same time, he enjoyed simple things like Lake Tahoe and the rusticness of it,” Mazor said.

The company, Mazor added, will close every Oscar de la Renta boutique on Tuesday as a sign of mourning.

Though de la Renta never took his job lightly, he always gave the impression that his life mattered more. He had enormous zest, displayed in his fashion — the vibrant colors, the airy sleeves, the Turkish delight numbers that so appealed to his greatest champion, the editor Diana Vreeland.

But where he really revealed himself, his hospitable nature, was in his native Dominican Republic. He built two homes there, the first in Casa de Campo, and the second in Punta Cana — built with his second wife, the former Annette Engelhard Reed, whom he married in 1989, following the death of his first wife, a vivacious former editor named Francoise de Langlade, from cancer in 1983.

In addition to his wife Annette, de la Renta is survived by a son, Moises; by three sisters; and by three stepchildren and nine stepgrandchildren.

Oscar Aristedes de la Renta was born in Santo Domingo on July 22, 1932, the youngest of seven children and the only boy. Although his father preferred that he join him in the insurance business, young Oscar persuaded his mother to send him to Madrid to study art.

For extra money, he drew clothes for newspapers and fashion houses. Some of his sketches were seen by Francesca Lodge, the wife of John Davis Lodge, then the U.S. ambassador to Spain. In 1956, she asked de la Renta to design a coming-out dress for her daughter Beatrice. The dress and the debutante appeared on the cover of Life that fall.

He was presented with Coty Awards, chosen by a jury of fashion editors, for having had the most significant influence on fashion in both 1967 and 1968. In 1973 he was named to the Coty Hall of Fame, and in 1989 he was given a lifetime achievement award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Chronicle staff writers

Carolyne Zinko and Leah Garchik contributed to this report.