The Metropolitan Museum of Art had a low-key opening for its exhibit on the style of the society swan Jacqueline de Ribes on Wednesday night. There were plans initially to kick off the Costume Institute’s fall show with a lavish dinner with Dior but the hosts did the sensible thing and scrapped them following the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday. In a statement explaining the cancellation of her trip, de Ribes said she hoped the exhibit would express “the joy associated with the freedom of creation.” Diane von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrera, Giancarlo Giammetti and several others of the countess’ longtime associates respectfully observed the opening, but they limited their appearances to strolling the institute’s downstairs galleries. Few headed upstairs to a somber reception at the Temple of Dendur. The de Ribes family was represented by the countess’ son Jean and her granddaughter Alix de la Rochefoucauld, née Van der Kemp, as well as the publicist Jody Donohue, who helped the countess launch her eponymous fashion line in 1983. De la Rochefoucauld recalled growing up in Paris in awe of her grandmother and her closets and closets of gowns. “You could open them up and you could choose whatever dress you wanted to wear for that night, which was quite nice for a young girl,” she said.
Somber Opening for Jacqueline de Ribes at the Met