The Costume Institute's Fall Exhibit to Feature French Comtesse Jacqueline de Ribes

"Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style" will feature approximately 60 ensembles from the French aristocrat, designer and style icon's personal archive.
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"Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style" will feature approximately 60 ensembles from the French aristocrat, designer and style icon's personal archive.
Jacqueline de Ribes. Photo: Francesco Scavullo/The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jacqueline de Ribes. Photo: Francesco Scavullo/The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Since the Metropolitan Museum of Art adopted Anna Wintour as the official face — and name — of the Costume Institute last May, the foundation has churned out a number of buzzy exhibits. Its tour of the work of British-born designer Charles James led to a (still forthcoming) Harvey Weinstein-helmed reboot of the label. Attendance at this spring's "China: Through the Looking Glass" display is "pacing close" to 2011's Alexander McQueen exhibit, the Costume Institute's most popular of all time. 

This fall, the museum will once again spotlight a specific individual: Jacqueline de Ribes, a Parisian comtesse, now 85, who's maintained a permanent residency on Vanity Fair's International Best Dressed List since 1962. Formally titled "Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style," the exhibition will feature "approximately 60 ensembles of haute couture and ready-to-wear" from de Ribes' extensive personal archive, dating from 1959 to present day. 

As such, the show's roster of designers is equally comprehensive, including (but not limited to) Giorgio Armani, Pierre Balmain, John Galliano, Valentino Garavani, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Guy Laroche and Yves Saint Laurent. She created her own ready-to-wear lines, too, from 1982 to 1995, attracting high-wattage clientele like Barbara Walters, Raquel Welch and even Cher

With a focus on de Ribes's iconic, yet refined originality, Harold Koda, curator in charge, promises the retrospective will yield "illuminating insights into her strategies of style." He said in a statement: "Her approach to dress as a statement of individuality can be seen as a kind of performance art. When she established her own fashion house, her friend Yves Saint Laurent gave his blessing to the venture as a welcome projection of her elegance."

"Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style" will open to the public on Nov. 19 and run through Feb. 21, 2016.

Photo: Victor Skrebneski/Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Photo: Victor Skrebneski/Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art