ADVANCED ICONS OF STYLE: COUNTESS JACQUELINE DE RIBES
Like last week’s style icon Susan Nevelson, Countess Jacqueline de Ribes epitomizes singular “savoir faire,” possessed of an innately compelling fashion sense.
According to Harold Koda, curator of “Jacqueline de Ribes. The Art of Style,” the current exhibit (November 19 – February 2 2016) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center, “Her approach to dress as a statement of individuality can be seen as a kind of performance art.”
Jacqueline’s talent was definitely noticed by both peers and designers. Her ability to make a powerful entrance was always unparalleled, as she knows how to create theater from her Nefertiti eye makeup, to remixing customized haute couture garments to create extraordinary costumes for masked balls.
While the exhibition explores her taste and style methodology, it also illustrates the range and depth of her professional life, including her roles as designer of her own brand, theatrical impresario, television producer, interior designer and director-organizer of international charity events.
Four times named to the Best Dressed list, by 1962 she attained International Best Dressed Hall of Fame status. More recently, Jean Paul Gaultier themed his 1999 haute couture collection “Divine Jacqueline.” And in 2010, French President Nicolas Sarkozy awarded her the Légion d’Honneur for philanthropic and cultural contributions.
So this begs the question: how can one actually obtain innate style?
“The first thing to do … is to arrange to be born in Paris,” asserted legendary Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar fashion editor Diana Vreeland. Jacqueline de Ribes status is confirmed as the ultimate personification of sheer Parisian elegance. For the rest of us, read about or, attend an exhibit like this one.
The Art of Style exhibit features 60 of Jacqueline’s personal haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles, dating from 1962-present. Needless to say, if you are in the New York area, don’t miss it.
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