All posts filed under: fashion

The originality & elegance of a little-known style icon

Countess Jacqueline de Ribes (b.1929) is not a household name like other style icons such as Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy. But to those who knew her, the French aristocrat’s style was like no other. A new show at New York’s Met celebrates her originality and elegance, featuring haute couture and ready-to-wear pieces primarily from de Ribes’s personal archive, dating from the late 1950s to the present. Uniquely, the exhibition also features de Ribes’ fancy-dress balls, which she often made herself by cutting up her haute couture gowns to make something fresh, and subtle. The countess developed an interest in fashion as a child who enjoyed fancy-dress. As an adult, she had no shortage of haute couture designers who wanted to dress her – she would become a muse to many. But de Ribes was not destined to play a passive role. She used what she had learned from her exposure to the haute couturier’s drapers, fitters and cutters to establish her own design business. From 1982 until the mid-1990s, de Ribes directed the business …

Through the looking glass

Since Europeans first made contact with China in the sixteenth century, Chinese art has exerted a heady influence on Western fashion. A new exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, China: Through the Looking Glass, examines the influence of Chinese aesthetics on some of the West’s most lauded fashion designers. A collaboration between the Met’s Asian Art department and The Costume Institute, it mixes high fashion with costumes, films, paintings, porcelains, and other art from China. The exhibition seeks to draw out the image the West has of China, a country which has inspired nostalgia and fantasy in the minds of many of these designers. The curator’s decision to reference Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland in the title of the exhibition reflects the fantasy China has inspired in the West. Chinese history and cinema are seen to have exerted a particular pull on the West’s imagination. Three periods of Chinese history are given particular emphasis — Imperial China, the Republic of China, and the Imperial Republic of China. In the Republic of China, Shanghai …

Forgotten pioneers

The Argentine artist Flavia da Rin was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1978, and still lives in the city. Her practice includes photography and painting. In a recent series of powerful photographs, Da Rin has re-created images taken in the 1920s and 1930s of mould-breaking women who had a passion for dance, including Lizica Codreanu, Giannina Censi and Mary Wigman. The Romanian ballet dancer Lizica Codreanu was a member of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and a constant fixture in avant-garde circles during Paris’ heyday. She was a favourite of the Ukrainian-born painter Sonia Delaunay, and the Romanian-born sculptor Constantin Brancusi, both of whom made their careers in France and designed iconic costumes for her. To continue reading about Flavia Da Rin’s work and the forgotten female artists she photographed, read the May/June issue of The Kurios. Photo: Flavia da Rin, Untitled (Codreano /Brancusi III), 2014. Photo courtesy of Ruth Benzacar Galeria de Arte.