New York, NY - This thematic
exhibition features approximately 60 ensembles of haute couture and
ready-to-wear primarily from de Ribes’s personal archive, dating
from 1962 to the present. Also included are her creations for fancy
dress balls, which she often made by cutting up and cannibalizing
her haute couture gowns to create unexpected, thematic, and
conceptually nuanced expressions of her aesthetic. These, along with
photographs, video, and ephemera, tell the story of how her interest
in fashion developed over decades, from childhood “dress-up” to the
epitome of international style.
A muse to haute couture designers, they placed at her disposal their
drapers, cutters, and fitters in acknowledgment of their esteem for
her taste and originality. Ultimately, she used this talent and
experience to create her own successful design business, which she
directed from 1982 to 1995.
While the exhibition explores her taste and style methodology,
extensive documentation from her personal archives illustrates the
range and depth of her professional life, including her roles as
theatrical impresario, television producer, interior designer, and
director and organizer of international charity events.
Designers in the exhibition include Giorgio Armani, Pierre Balmain,
Bill Blass, Marc Bohan for House of Dior, Roberto Cavalli,
Jacqueline de Ribes, John Galliano, Madame Grès (Alix Barton),
Valentino Garavani, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Norma Kamali, Guy Laroche,
Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent, Fernando Sanchez for Révillon
Frères, and Emanuel Ungaro.
Countess Jacqueline de Ribes (born 1929 in Paris to aristocratic
parents) is seen by many as the ultimate personification of Parisian
elegance. She was, with the American and Italian beauties Gloria
Vanderbilt and Marella Agnelli, among the small flock of “Swans”
photographed by Richard Avedon and written about by Truman Capote in
Married at age 19 to Édouard, Vicomte de Ribes (he became the Count
de Ribes upon the death of his father in 1981), the traditions of
her in-laws precluded her from becoming a career woman. An
independent spirit, she channeled her creativity into a series of
ventures linked by fashion, theater, and style. In 1956, de Ribes
was nominated for Eleanor Lambert’s Best-Dressed List. At the time,
she had only a handful of couture dresses, as most of her wardrobe
was comprised of her own designs, which she made herself or with a
dressmaker. Four more nominations followed, and resulted in her
induction into the International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame in
Photographed by the world’s leading talents including Slim Aarons,
Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Robert Doisneau, Horst,
Jean Baptiste Mondino, Irving Penn, Francesco Scavullo, Victor
Skrebneski, and Juergen Teller, her image came to define an
effortless elegance and a sophisticated glamour.
In 1999, Jean Paul Gaultier dedicated his haute couture collection
to her with the title “Divine Jacqueline,” and in 2010, she received
the Légion d’Honneur from French President Nicolas Sarkozy for her
philanthropic and cultural contributions to France. Tours of the
exhibition will be held Tuesday-Friday at 2:00 p.m.
A Luxury Traveler Postscript
Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style
Who doesn't love New York?
The other "Met" on stage