Jacqueline de Ribes ‘The Art of Style’ at The MET

A muse to designers including Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino, 85-year-old style icon Jacqueline de Ribes is the subject of the Met’s fall 2015 fashion exhibition. The French aristocrat, who as one of Truman Capote’s famous “swans,” is known not only for her unbelievable wardrobe, but also her work as a television producer, interior designer, philanthropist, and designer. Another of her skills? Dismembering her haute couture gowns to create festive costumes for fancy dress parties—imagine chopping up a Christian Dior or Pierre Balmain to make some whimsical guise for a night out on the town! “A close study of de Ribes’s life of creative expression yields illuminating insights into her strategies of style,” says Harold Koda, the Curator in Charge at the Costume Institute, and the curator of this exhibition. “Her approach to dress as a statement of individuality can be seen as a kind of performance art,” he adds. Dubbed Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style, the show will feature prized garments from de Ribes’s storied wardrobe, including designs by Giorgio Armani, Marc Bohan for the House of Dior, John Galliano, Madame Gres, Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, and more. Of course, de Ribes own sartorial creations will be on display, too. Considering Gaultier dedicated his couture collection to her in 1999, Vanity Fair called her the “Last Queen of Paris,” and French President Nicolas Sarkozy awarded her with the prestigious Legion d’Honneur in 2010, it’s safe to say that de Ribes has lead a fascinating life, and it will indeed be exciting to learn all about it through her carefully considered wardrobe. Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style will be on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute from November 19, 2015 through February 21, 2016

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