We’ve decided to publish a brand new series called: Memory Lane. A throwback, if you will, of all the great designs, art shows, and outstanding cultural events that we’ve had the opportunity to experience during the past. Yes, you probably will recall some of the people, places, and things, but since they’re all so fabulous, all we can say is: Why not give them a second look?
Back in the Fall of 2015, The Costume Institute had an exhibition called: Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style. The show focused on Jacqueline de Ribes, an internationally renowned style icon whose “originality and elegance established her as one of the most celebrated fashion personas of the 20th century.”
Now let’s talk about the countess personal style, shall we? In the early 1950s, de Ribes emerged as a glamorous presence in the media. Her sleek good looks and ability to pull off even the most dramatic styles rivaled the effects of highly stylized professional models like Dovima, Lisa Fonssagrives, Sunny Harnett, and Suzy Parker. In a period that prized conventional femininity, de Ribes introduced a novel exoticism. Oleg Cassini said that her “aristocratic face . . . would have fit perfectly in ancient Egypt or a royal court in the seventeenth century.” Richard Avedon, who photographed many of the great beauties of the day, exclaimed, “She has a perfect nose. I feel sorry for the near-beauties with small noses.”
“A close study of de Ribes’s life of creative expression yields illuminating insights into her strategies of style,” said Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, who organized the exhibition. “Her approach to dress as a statement of individuality can be seen as a kind of performance art. When she established her own fashion house, her friend Yves Saint Laurent gave his blessing to the venture as a welcome projection of her elegance.”
The exhibition was on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center from November 19, 2015 through February 21, 2016. Did you get a chance to see it?