The thematic show will feature about sixty ensembles of haute couture and ready-to-wear primarily from de Ribes's personal archive, dating from 1959 to the present. Also included will be her creations for fancy-dress balls, which she often made by cutting and cannibalizing her haute couture gowns to create nuanced expressions of her aesthetic. These, along with photographs and ephemera, will 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, de Ribes had 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. While the exhibition will focus on her taste and style, extensive documentation from her personal archives will illustrate the range of her professional life, including her roles as theatrical impresario, television producer, interior designer, and director and organizer of international charity events.