By Michael Baadke
The United States Postal Service continues to reveal new stamp subjects and designs that will be issued in 2017. The latest announcement includes a legendary fashion designer and a famous American monument.
In an email release distributed Dec. 28, the Postal Service revealed that fashion leader Oscar de la Renta (1932-2014) will be commemorated with a pane of 11 forever stamps that includes a single stamp picturing the famous clothing designer in a black-and-white photograph, and 10 additional stamps that show “details from several of his most exquisite gowns,” according to the Postal Service.
Some of the stamps appear to show close-up views of patterned or solid-color fabric, while others show more of the full dress, including the shoes worn by models walking on a fashion show runway.
“De la Renta’s innovative designs and close attention to detail are said to have elevated American style and brought international attention to New York as a world leader in fashion,” the Postal Service said.
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The stamps each include de la Renta’s name in the distinctive signature style used currently to identify the Oscar de la Renta company that continues to offer fashions, fragrances, jewelry, home goods, and other products for sale.
Two new stamps in the American Landmarks series will be issued to fulfill new postage rates for two expedited services: Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes, and Priority Mail Express flat-rate envelopes.
The $6.65 stamp depicts Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo, Hawaii, and marks the 100th anniversary of the 1917 dedication of the 30-acre Japanese-style garden.
“The stamp art features one of the gardens’ most iconic structures, the red wooden shelter on a stone bridge spanning a portion of the pond,” according to the Postal Service. “The bridge is surrounded by three stone lanterns and lush tropical plants.”
A $23.75 stamp for the Gateway Arch fulfills the planned Priority Mail Express rate for flat-rate envelopes. The design shows the arching 630-foot tall monument, with the St. Louis skyline behind it, and a barge passing by in the foreground on the nearby Mississippi River.
The stainless steel Gateway Arch was designed by architect Eero Saarinen. Construction was completed in 1965.
Both the Liliuokalani Gardens stamp and the Gateway Arch stamp feature illustrations by Dan Cosgrove, who has created the artwork for all of the U.S. expedited-mail stamps since 2008.
A new nondenominated (5¢) stamp for first-class mail will be issued in coils of 10,000. The design should look familiar: It reuses the design of the USA Star nonprofit mail stamp issued April 28, 2016 (Scott 5061). The simple lettering with graphic red star element has been slightly reduced in size, and a blue border has been added around the outer margins of the stamp.
A new nondenominated (34¢) stamped postal card will also join the 2017 U.S. stamp program, the first postal card from the Postal Service in about two years. The design shows a Chilean blue crocus, also known as the azulillo. The illustration uses pre-existing artwork by illustrator and designer Dugald Stermer (1936-2011).
No issue dates were revealed for the new items announced Dec. 28.
The new announcement brings the total number of planned new U.S. stamps for 2017 to 91, along with two postal stationery items.
The Postal Service has not announced new stamp subjects for its popular Legends of Hollywood and Music Icons commemorative series.