Sunday, December 27, 2015


Costume created for Alexis de Redé's Bal Oriental, 1969; Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style at the MET Museum

With a knack for creative composure and a troupe of talent at arm's length, Jacqueline de Ribes has spent a lifetime perfecting her whimsical wardrobe. A visionary in the design world, the French fashion persona forms the foundation for Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style, the latest fashion exhibit at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through 60 ensembles from 1962 to the present and mixed media features, the public is introduced to Jacqueline as a Jane of All Trades. Keep reading for a view into the exhibit from the press preview in mid-November (The new job has made it tough to keep up with posting)...

[L] Ensemble, F/W 1962 Suit of beige wool herringbone tweed + coat trimmed w/lynx fur; [R] Coat, F/W 1969 Polychrome printed wool flannel

In 1929, Jacqueline de Ribes married Édouard Vicomte de Ribes at the tender age of 19, and a life of celebrated couture and glamorous galas ensued. Having multiple nominations to Eleanor Lambert's Best Dressed lists in Europe (including induction to the International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1962), de Ribes' wardrobe becomes the subject of the MET Museum's Costume Institute winter exhibition. Learned talents within a life of privilege are manifest in a blended collection of self-thought and self-bought fashion.

Evening Dress section

De Ribe's high cheekbones, notable nose and mannequin-like figure command the attention of many over the span of four decades, including famed photographers Richard Alvedon, Slim Aarons, Irving Penn and Jean Baptiste Mondino. As a face of French nobility, de Ribes approaches fashion with an elegant, yet irreverent boldness, mutating and merging luxe and casual garb. Referred to as the "DJ of Couture," de Ribes designs under her her namesake label from 1982 to 1995 and, unbeknownst to most, anonymously penns a column for Marie Claire.

[L] Evening ensemble (jumpsuit of matte silk satin fringed w/peacock feathers), F/W 1968; [R] Evening dress (hand-painted silk organza), S/S 1986

"When I was a small child, there were two women I 
admired. One was a friend of my mother's who was an ambassadress. The other was Coco Chanel. It seems I always wanted to be a designer."
Jacqueline de Ribes

Framed periodicals featuring Jacqueline de Ribes including Tatler, Interview, Bazaar, Vogue, Town & Country

Paying homage to her life, style and sophistiqué, the MET's Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style presents 7 main themes highlighting Emblematic Looks, Haute Couture, Evening Wear, Framed Periodicals, Black and White for Night, Flights of Fantasy and The Masked Ball. Of note are the colorful evening ensembles--inclusive of de Ribe's inaugural design--in Evening Wear and opposing monotone formal attire in Black and White for Night. Emblematic Looks illustrate a juxtaposition of luxe and lucidity, and de Ride's preference for comfort over convention. Throughout the exhibit, deliberate ensemble pairings are accessorized with scrupulous simplicity. Video, photography and quotes amplify de Ribe's visionary voice. 


Choosing to mourn with her country in lieu of traveling to NYC to attend the exhibit opening (on account of the events in Paris), the countess issues a note encouraging joy even during a time of mourning. The MET exhibit will run until February 21, 2016. Click here for details.

Haute hippie chic

 Jacqueline de Ribes in Christian Dior (1959) [Photo by Roloff Beny]

Book of illustrations

Costume du côté de Ferrières (Bal Proust), 1971

Black and White for Night

Trimmed in fur

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