Homage to haute couture at museum
Priceless haute couture dresses are to go on display for the first time in Ireland at the Newbridge Silverware's Museum of Style Icons.
The Fashion and Fantasy - a Lifetime Curation of Haute Couture exhibition will pay homage to the most iconic names in fashion and show extremely rare designer pieces dating from the 1950s to the 2000s.
The garments, collected by German native Monika Gottlieb, are either one-off haute couture pieces that were made by a designer for a runway show or made to measure for a private client.
The collection includes pieces by Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix, Givenchy, Balmain, and Hermes, among others.
One of the most interesting is a green silk taffeta cocktail dress, which was designed by Dior in 1957 but was not finished until 1959 when Saint Laurent had to complete the work after Dior's death.
The dress is a perfect example of Dior's hourglass silhouette with a nipped-in waist, full skirt, bow and green fringing, which is not sewn on, rather pulled from the silk itself.
It was Dior who would change the course of fashion history when he dominated the catwalk in the late 1940s and 1950s and everyone wanted to copy his voluptuous 'new look'. The green cocktail dress was particularly precious to Monika Gottlieb who is one of the few surviving people in the world who personally knew Dior.
There are also several vintage and one-off jewellery pieces in the exhibition including cuffs, earrings, necklaces and broaches.
William Doyle created the Museum of Style Icons after he bought a very famous black dress. "The little black Givenchy ensemble worn by Audrey Hepburn in Charade started it all. We bought it at an auction at Christie's of London 11 years ago and it started from there," he said.
Gottlieb will officially launch the free exhibition on Thursday.