Jacqueline de Ribes: The Essence of True Glamour and Style at The Met’s Costume Institute

Style is what makes you different; it’s your own stamp, a message about yourself.” – Countess Jacqueline de Ribes.

The Costume Institute’s Fall 2015 exhibition, Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style, focuses on the internationally renowned style icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, whose originality and elegance established her as one of the most celebrated fashion personas of the 20th century.

Jacqueline de Ribes in Christian Dior, 1959 Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Roloff Beny, Roloff Beny Estate

Jacqueline de Ribes in Christian Dior, 1959. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Roloff Beny, Roloff Beny Estate

A close study of de Ribes’s life of creative expression yields illuminating insights into her strategies of style,” said Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, who organized the exhibition. “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.”

The press preview for Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style, was a somber affair. The guest of honor and the exhibition’s subject, Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, was not in attendance for obvious reasons. The Costume Institute released the following statement:

Following the tragic events in Paris, Jacqueline de Ribes has canceled her trip to New York for the opening of Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. She would like to express her gratitude to all her friends at the Met with whom she has collaborated for so many months, and hopes that they will understand her decision.

Comtesse de Ribes also knows how much Americans share the deep sadness felt in France, which confirms the enduring bond between the two countries. She hopes the exhibition will represent the joy associated with the freedom of creation.

Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1983 Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Victor Skrebneski, Skrebneski Photograph © 1983

Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1983
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Victor Skrebneski, Skrebneski
Photograph © 1983

As reported by Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times, the planned dinner on Wednesday, hosted by the House of Dior, in honor of the exhibition was downgraded to a cocktail reception in business dress.

While I was looking forward to seeing the Countess in person (having read so much about her in magazines and newspapers since the early 1980’s), I must also say that, even without her there, the exhibition fully represented her far-reaching talents, self-assuredness and strong belief in her own sense of what works for her and how her public life (and charitable works) changed the world around her. In a time when “style icons” are anointed based on the work of their Svengali-like stylists who tell them what to wear (usually obscenely expensive designer dresses borrowed for the night, including the jewelery AND the shoes), where to wear them (most often than not to red-carpet events) and how to wear them, the Countess is the REAL DEAL. Most everyone else is a pale imitation.

Jacqueline de Ribes, 1955 Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Richard Avedon, ©The Richard Avedon Foundation

Jacqueline de Ribes, 1955, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Richard Avedon,
©The Richard Avedon Foundation

Elegance. It’s an attitude. A frame of mind. An intuition, a refusal, a rigor, a research, a knowledge. The attitude of elegance is also a way of behaving.

Countess Jacqueline de Ribes (born 1929 in Paris to aristocratic parents) is seen by many as the ultimate personification of Parisian elegance. She was, with the American and Italian beauties Gloria Vanderbilt and Marella Agnelli, among the small flock of “Swans” photographed by Richard Avedon and written about by Truman Capote in 1959.

Married at age 19 to the late Édouard, Vicomte de Ribes (he became the Count de Ribes upon the death of his father in 1981), the traditions of her in-laws precluded her from becoming a career woman. However, as an independent spirit, she channeled her creativity into a series of ventures linked by fashion, theater, and style. In 1956, de Ribes was nominated for Eleanor Lambert’s Best-Dressed List. At the time, she had only a handful of couture dresses, as most of her wardrobe was comprised of her own designs, which she made herself or with a dressmaker. Four more nominations followed, and resulted in her induction into the International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1962.

Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1986 Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Francesco Scavullo, The Francesco Scavullo Foundation and The Estate of Francesco Scavullo

Jacqueline de Ribes in her own design, 1986
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Francesco
Scavullo, The Francesco Scavullo Foundation and The Estate of Francesco

When I was a small child, there were two women I admired. One was a friend of my mother’s who was an ambassadress. The other was Coco Chanel. It seems I always wanted to be a designer.”

Photographed by the world’s leading talents including Slim Aarons, Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Robert Doisneau, Horst, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Irving Penn, Francesco Scavullo, Victor Skrebneski, and Juergen Teller, her image came to define an effortless elegance and a sophisticated glamour, something you cannot say about so many of the women today that defines the term, “modern style icons.” As Carolina Herrera recently remarked in a newspaper interview (and I am paraphrasing here), “How can someone be a style icon when they are not wearing any clothes?” in reference to the trio of music and Hollywood stars who attended the recent Met Ball in “dresses” that left almost nothing to the imagination. And Mrs. Herrera is right. If you want to see what a TRUE style icon is, run, don’t walk, to The Met to see Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style.

You must remember that you’re never going to be sexy for everyone. You are sexy for someone and for someone else you are not. Being totally nude is not sexy. The art of being sexy is to suggest. To let people have fantasy.”

Gallery View, Evening Wear © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View, Evening Wear
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The thematic exhibition features approximately 60 ensembles of haute couture and ready-to-wear primarily from de Ribes’s personal archive, dating from 1962 to the present. Also included are her creations for fancy dress balls, which she often made by cutting up and cannibalizing her haute couture gowns to create unexpected, thematic, and conceptually nuanced expressions of her aesthetic. These, along with photographs, video, and ephemera, tell the story of how her interest in fashion developed over decades, from childhood “dress-up” to the epitome of international style.

A muse to haute couture designers, they placed at her disposal their drapers, cutters, and fitters in acknowledgment of their esteem for her taste and originality. Ultimately, she used this talent and experience to create her own successful design business, which she directed from 1982 to 1995.

Gallery View, Evening Wear © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View, Evening Wear
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

My mirror, my only truthful advisor.”

While the exhibition explores her taste and style methodology, extensive documentation from her personal archives illustrates the range and depth of her professional life, including her roles as theatrical impresario, television producer, interior designer, and director and organizer of international charity events. Continue reading

Consumer Report: Keep Coffee Hot And Your Morning Commute Clean

Contigo® Expands America’s Number One Selling* Line of AUTOSEAL® Travel Mugs with Premium Commuter-inspired Design to Keep Out Dirt

Cramped buses and crowded trains may taint your morning commute, but there’s no reason why your morning coffee routine should suffer. Contigo®, a leading producer of innovative travel mugs, water bottles and kids bottles, is building off of their best-selling AUTOSEAL® collection of travel mugs with urban commutes in mind. The new AUTOSEAL Metra Travel Mug protects against dirt and debris to deliver a clean and convenient on-the-go drinking experience.

Metra is the newest addition to the Contigo AUTOSEAL family, which is America’s number one selling* line of travel mugs. Metra combines the spill-free solution consumers love about AUTOSEAL with a

Contigo(R) AUTOSEAL(R) Metra Travel Mug (PRNewsFoto/Contigo)

Contigo(R) AUTOSEAL(R) Metra Travel Mug (PRNewsFoto/Contigo)

commuter-inspired CleanGuard(TM) spout cover that rotates to close off the drinking area when not in use, so users are protected from their fellow commuters’ dirt and debris. Simply press the AUTOSEAL button to drink, then release to close the opening between sips. For added protection, users can rotate the CleanGuard cover over the opening to help keep it sanitary while not in use. Twisting the CleanGuard cover also locks the AUTOSEAL button to prevent users from accidentally pressing it.

Our designers watched commuter hubs and found that commuters frequently wiped off their travel mugs’ opening with their sleeves or napkins to clean it off prior to drinking. Our commitment to continuous improvement is evident in this top-of-the-line travel mug, which combines our new CleanGuard innovation to keep out dirt with our best-selling AUTOSEAL technology that eliminates spills,” said Todd Starr, Vice President of Marketing and Product Development at Contigo, a Newell Rubbermaid business. “Metra lets these commuters take their coffee anywhere and everywhere, and be protected from all the dust and crumbs along the way.”

Contigo‘s easy-clean lid also ensures the mug is simple to clean with a unique mechanism that snaps back to allow the AUTOSEAL technology to rise up and away from the spout. Users simply push a tab inside the lid and the mechanism hinges away from the spout. Just rinse it, then place it open in the top rack of the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.

In addition to a concealed drinking spout and spill-proof confidence, Metra offers several other premium features for coffee lovers:
– Thermal Insulation: With double-wall, vacuum insulated Thermalock(TM) technology, warm beverages, such as coffee or tea, stay hot for up to five hours and cold beverages remain chilled for up to 12 hours
– Modern Styling: Made with high-quality materials, available in a flat, matte finish and decorated with a modern, multi-colored comfort grip, Metra is the perfect accessory for the savvy urban commuter
– 16-Ounce, Thoughtful Design: Metra is equipped a with a no-slip, quiet bottom pad to keep it muted in the board room and conveniently fits under most single-serve brewers and in most car cup holders.

The 16-ounce AUTOSEAL Metra Travel Mug will be available this fall at Target, www.Amazon.com and www.GoContigo.com for a suggested retail price of $24.99.

*Based on total branded travel mug sales, excluding private label. Source: Nielsen ScanTrack Drinkware Container and Set report for U.S. Food, Drug, Mass and Information Resources (IRI) Costco CRX report for the 52 weeks ending 7/5/14.

Leslie H. Wexner, Founder of The Limited (Now L Brands) to Receive Fragrance Industry Accolade

The Fragrance Foundation Announces Leslie H. Wexner, Founder, Chairman and CEO of L Brands, Named The Fragrance Foundation Awards 2016 Hall of Fame Honoree

The Fragrance Foundation announces Leslie H. Wexner, the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L Brands, will be honored with the Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame Award at the 2016 Fragrance Foundation Awards. The Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame Award annually honors a preeminent individual, who has brought extraordinary ingenuity, business acumen and world-class creativity to the fragrance industry.

The Fragrance Foundation (PRNewsFoto/The Fragrance Foundation)

The Fragrance Foundation (PRNewsFoto/The Fragrance Foundation)

Leslie H. Wexner, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of L Brands, was born Sept. 8, 1937, in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Russian immigrants. When he was young, his parents worked hard, owning and operating a small store named “Leslie’s” in downtown Columbus. He credits his parents with teaching him the importance of hard work and attention to details and the belief that anything is possible. After graduating from The Ohio State University (OSU) and serving in the Air National Guard, he worked in his parents’ business.

Leslie H. Wexner, and the recipient of the

Leslie H. Wexner, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of L Brands; and the recipient of The Fragrance Foundation 2016 Hall of Fame Award. (Photo Credit: http://www.lb.com/)

In 1963, Wexner, with a $5,000 loan from his aunt, founded L Brands with one store in the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Columbus, Ohio – The Limited – with sales of $160,000 the first year. In the years that followed, he expanded his business portfolio through both invention and acquisition (including Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel, La Senza, Abercrombie and Fitch and Express), becoming a dominant U.S. retailer with numerous powerful brands and brand extensions. Under Wexner’s leadership, L Brands has evolved from an apparel-based specialty retailer to an approximately $12 billion segment leader with more than 80,000 associates focused on lingerie, beauty and personal care product categories that make customers feel sexy, sophisticated and forever young.

Throughout his career, Wexner has been committed to making a difference in the community and is one of the industry’s most generous philanthropists. In 2010, Les and his family, in conjunction with L Brands Foundation, made a historic $100 million commitment to OSU to benefit The Ohio State University Medical Center (renamed in February 2012 The Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University in 2012), The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute and the Wexner Center for the Arts as well as select other university initiatives. Aside from his passion for OSU, Les’ other philanthropic interests include the Wexner Institute for Pediatric Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus; the Martin Luther King Center for the Performing Arts and the Wexner Heritage Village, both in Columbus. He is a generous supporter of the United Way, and was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship for his commitment to the public good.

I am honored to accept the Hall of Fame award from The Fragrance Foundation,” said Wexner. “I want to thank the Foundation for this recognition. Fragrance has always played a leading role in the L Brands story and it is immensely satisfying to be acknowledged for our work.”

Dedicated to serving its member companies as a resource for industry expertise, innovation and education. Passionately devoted to engaging the consumer, increasing their awareness and appreciation of fragrance in all its forms.

We applaud the career of Leslie Wexner, one of the most accomplished leaders in American retail history and a true visionary,” said Elizabeth Musmanno, President of The Fragrance Foundation. “Through his works both professionally and philanthropically, Mr. Wexner sets the standard for our industry.

The 2016 Fragrance Foundation Awards will be held on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City.

Holiday Gift Guide: Adorama Announces Big Savings on Photo and Video Gear from Flashpoint, Glow and More

Up to 50% Off On Products Including Flashpoint Zoom Li-oN TTL On-Camera Flash, Flashpoint Blast Power Pack, LED Circular Interview Lighting Kit, Glow HexaPop Portable Softboxes, Glow Beauty Dishes And More, Now Through The End Of The Year Exclusively At Adorama

Adorama, one of the world’s largest photography, video, audio, imaging and electronics retailers, is now offering major discounts on photo and video equipment including lighting, flashes and photo/video accessories from Flashpoint; softboxes and beauty dishes from Glow; and the Takama 3-section video tripod. Now through the end of the year, customers can enjoy up to 50% off on top photography and video gear available exclusively at Adorama.

Products on sale now at Adorama include:

  • Flashpoint Zoom Li-oN TTL On-Camera Flash For Canon or Nikon – Includes FREE $69.95 Flashpoint Commander Set. Now $139.95 with free shipping (Regular $179.95)

With the Flashpoint Zoom Li-oN from Adorama, the value for your dollar is very high,” says Don Chick, Professional Photographer.

Overall, I declare the Zoom Li-on Flash a winner and a new staple to my camera bag thanks to its power, reliability, and the cost (and weight) savings of not having to haul tons of spare AA batteries,” says Suzi Pratt, Digital Photography School.

Honestly, this is the finest product of its type that I’ve ever used and I’ve used a lot of flash units over the past couple of decades,” says Ken Hess, The Frugal Networker, of the Flashpoint StreakLight Flash. Quality really makes a difference. This unit is an investment that is a real winner.

At the price, I can hardly recommend anything else – it’s great value for your money, and an easy way to even the light with minimal cost or effort,” says Tim Walker, Photography Corner.

Serving customers for more than 35 years,
Adorama has grown from its flagship NYC store to include the leading online destination for imaging and consumer electronics. Adorama’s vast product offerings encompass home entertainment, mobile computing, and professional video and audio, while its services include an in-house photo lab, AdoramaPix; resources and gear for photographers, filmmakers, production studios, broadcasting and post houses, and recording artists through Adorama Pro; pro equipment rental at Adorama Rental Company; and the award-winning Adorama Learning Center, which offers free creative education in online channels such as the popular Adorama TV.

Visit ADORAMA at www.adorama.com.

10 Live Action Shorts and 10 Animated Films Advance In 2015 Oscar® Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 live action short films will advance in the voting process for the 88th Academy Awards®. One hundred forty-four pictures had originally qualified in the category.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:

Ave Maria,” Basil Khalil, director, and Eric Dupont, producer (Incognito Films)

Bad Hunter,” Sahim Omar Kalifa, director, and Dries Phlypo, producer (A Private View)

Bis Gleich (Till Then),” Philippe Brenninkmeyer, producer, and Tara Lynn Orr, writer (avenueROAD Films)

Contrapelo (Against the Grain),” Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, director, and Pin-Chun Liu, producer (Ochenta y Cinco Films)

Day One,” Henry Hughes, director (American Film Institute)

Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut),” Patrick Vollrath, director (Filmakademie Wien)

The Free Man (Zi You Ren),” Quah Boon-Lip, director (Taipei National University of the Arts)

Shok,” Jamie Donoughue, director (Eagle Eye Films)

Stutterer,” Benjamin Cleary, director (Bare Golly Films)

Winter Light,” Julian Higgins, director, and Josh Pence, producer (Innerlight Films and Prelude Pictures)

Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting. Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, London, New York and San Francisco in December.

The Academy also announced that 10 animated short films will advance in the voting process for the 88th Academy Awards®. Sixty pictures had originally qualified in the category.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:

Bear Story (Historia De Un Oso),” Gabriel Osorio, director, and Pato Escala, producer (Punkrobot Animation Studio)

Carface (Autos Portraits),” Claude Cloutier, director (National Film Board of Canada)

If I Was God…,” Cordell Barker, director (National Film Board of Canada)

Love in the Time of March Madness,” Melissa Johnson and Robertino Zambrano, directors (High Hip Productions and KAPWA Studioworks)

My Home,” Phuong Mai Nguyen, director (Papy3D Productions)

An Object at Rest,” Seth Boyden, director (California Institute of the Arts)

Prologue,” Richard Williams, director, and Imogen Sutton, producer (Animation Masterclass)

Sanjay’s Super Team,” Sanjay Patel, director, and Nicole Grindle, producer (Pixar Animation Studios)

We Can’t Live without Cosmos,” Konstantin Bronzit, director (Melnitsa Animation Studio)

World of Tomorrow,” Don Hertzfeldt, director (Bitter Films)

Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting.

The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The 88th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

Things Remembered Collaborates With Melissa & Doug For Holiday Collection

Retailer Offers Educational Toys and Games for You and Your Family this Season

Just in time for the busy toy season, Things Remembered, the nation’s largest and most prominent retailer of personalized gifts, has collaborated with leading educational toy and game brand Melissa & Doug to carry a select variety of exclusive customizable toys. The line of personalized novelties will feature some of the brand’s most popular toys, games and immersive arts and crafts manufactured by Melissa & Doug.

Personalization is a huge trend in the marketplace right now,” said Nelson Tejeda, Chief Merchandising Officer for Things Remembered. “And it’s not limited to just gifts. Kids are personalizing their backpacks

and the decor in their bedrooms. Toys seemed like a very logical next step. Personalizing educational toys makes even more sense, as it allows younger children to consistently see and recognize their name. Starting at just $17, these toys are a trend parents can afford.

Things Remembered has rolled out the new Melissa & Doug line in stores and online across the nation.

Melissa & Doug has long been a year-round and holiday favorite, offering parents and families a line of classic products designed to nurture creativity and imagination and encourage children’s educational development. Things Remembered will offer 10 exclusive items available for customization, including the Melissa & Doug Fire Truck, Stacking Train, Unit Block on Wheels, Alphabet Truck, Xylophone and Wood School Bus Play Set to name a few. The collection at Things Remembered will range from $17 to $20.

We’re thrilled to partner with Things Remembered to offer customizable Melissa & Doug products throughout its stores nationwide and online,” said Allison Narins, Executive Account Manager of Melissa & Doug. “Shopping for holiday gifts can be overwhelming for parents and caregivers. These exclusive Melissa & Doug products not only have great play value, and provide hours of playtime fun, but also add a personalization element can make shoppers’ holiday gift-giving experience more memorable.”

In addition to providing all your educational holiday shopping necessities, the national retailer will debut two other lines, Contigo and Corkcicle—featuring a wide variety of premium drinkware. Corkcicle’s Canteens were named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2015 and are available for customization as well. For additional information or to view the product lines, visit www.ThingsRemembered.com.

Torrid Launches The New Fashion-Forward TORRID INSIDER COLLECTION Online

Torrid, the world’s fastest growing plus-size brand announces the Torrid Insider Collection, a limited edition capsule collection designed for its most fashion-forward customers. The Torrid Insider Collection reflects the brand’s dedication to empowering women sizes 12 to 28 with fashion that makes them feel confident and stylish, no apologies. The collection launched online this past Tuesday, at TORRID.com.



Torrid designs and retails fashion apparel, accessories, swimwear and lingerie for young, stylish women who wear sizes 12 to 28 and has over 340 stores across the U.S. and Canada, and online at Torrid.com.

The 23-piece collection features tops, jackets, bottoms and dresses that range in price from $44.50 to $128.50. The higher price tag reflects the materials used, such as heavier weight ponte that creates a smoothing effect, textured knits, brushed yarn and embroidered jersey.

Highlights include a moto jacket in delicious berry purple, a strapless jumpsuit made for dancing, chic wrap dresses and crop tops. Many of the silhouettes are long and lean, as seen in the coats, vests, cardigans and skirts. The collection’s signature print blooms with exuberant magenta and white flowers against black.

Lisa Harper, Torrid CEO, says, “We created this collection for the fashion obsessed–those girls who are always on the hunt for something special, that not everyone else is wearing. It’s limited edition, so it won’t be around for long. Only those in the know, the real Torrid Insiders, will get their hands on this collection before it’s sold out.”

Liz Munoz, Torrid SVP of Design, explains, “This collection is all about unexpected details, like a playful fringe made from hand-knitted yarn or double tulle designed to give a dress just the right amount of dimension, so it’s incredibly flattering. Everything is sophisticated, but also really fun and daring … and you can mix all of these pieces into the wardrobe you already own.”