While in New York with the family, we did our habitual pilgrimage to the Met, for an afternoon of art, history, and exquisite exhibits — like the one I stumbled upon of Countess Jacqueline de Ribes.
Before this exhibit, I didn’t know who Jacqueline was, but after a bit of research, I found out that this octogenarian, who currently lives in Paris, is one of the most celebrated fashionistas of the 20th century, and judging by her 60 incredible ensembles that made up the show, I can see why.
Most of the exhibit consists of caftan-like colorful gowns, coats, and even incredible costumes, fit for royalty. Some of the designers she donned, and whom she was also friends with, include Valentino, Dior, YSL, Armani, Balmain. If this wasn’t enough to keep you mesmerized, Jacqueline also ran a successful clothing business from 1982 t0 1995.
What made this show even more special was how much of a chameleon Jacqueline really is. There are dresses fit for a white-tie affair, while next to it sit bohemian ensembles that could be perfect in today’s music festival world — it’s safe to say, there is something for everyone here.
Though the installation is no longer at the Anna Wintour Costume Institute, it was the second most attended fall show. During its three-month stint, it attracted nearly 195,000 visitors, which is rather impressive.
Not only did I walk out inspired by this woman, who truly lived a fairy tale, and had impeccable taste, but I discovered a new muse; someone who in today’s world would in fact, be considered a ‘Girl Boss.’
Jacqueline has poise, drive, intelligence, and of course, is blessed to be part of a wealthy family, but she still managed to become a sought-after business woman with strong principles. Jacqueline is someone who really out shined many and left an indelible mark, even in today’s digitally obsessed zeitgeist dominated by social media and reality TV.
Because after all, long before countess Luann de Lesseps graced our TV screens, there was Countess Jacqueline de Ribes.
Ryzenberg On, is Signing Off