Monika Gottlieb is pictured at Newbridge Silverware and the Museum of Style Icons latest exhibition, ‘Fashion and Fantasy – a Lifetime Curation of Haute Couture’
Newbridge Silverware and the Museum of Style Icons launched an exhibition which pays homage to the most iconic names in fashion that ever lived.
The exhibition ‘Fashion and Fantasy – a Lifetime Curation of Haute Couture’ contains a collection of one off or extremely rare designer pieces which date from the 1950’s to the 2000’s. The pieces, which have been curated and collected by German native Monika Gottlieb are either one off Haute Couture pieces that were made by a designer for a runway show or are one off creations, made to measure for a private client. The priceless, private collection curated by international fashion collector, Gottlieb includes rare and one of a kind pieces by Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix, Givenchy, Balmain, and Hermes among many others.
One of the most interesting pieces is a green cocktail, silk taffeta dress which was designed by Christian Dior in 1957 but was not finished until 1959 when Yves Saint Laurent had to complete the collection due to the sudden death of Dior. The ‘Diorama’ dress is a perfect example of Dior’s signature design and features an hourglass silhouette with a nipped in waist, full skirt, bow and green fringing, which is not sewn on, rather it is pulled from the silk itself. It was Dior who would change the course of fashion history, he dominated the world of fashion in the late 1940s and 1950s and everyone wanted to copy his voluptuous ‘new look’.
Ironically, the year before he died in a letter to his friend, Jacques Rouet, Dior had written,“Yves Saint Laurent is young, but he is an immense talent. In my last collection, I consider him to be the father of thirty-four out of the 180 designs. I think the time has come to reveal it to the press. My prestige won’t suffer from it.”
Just one year later following the sudden death of Dior from a heart attack, the young Saint Laurent was tasked with bringing his mentor’s vision to life and at the age of just 21 he became the world’s youngest couturier and finished the collection that Dior had started. One green, cocktail dress which will go on show at the Museum of Style Icons has come out of a private collection and has never been shown before to the public. It bears the DNA of Dior and the finger prints of Yves Saint Laurent.
William Doyle is the instigator of the Museum of Style Icons and created the museum after he bought a very famous black dress. “The little black Givenchy ensemble worn by Audrey Hepburn in ‘Charade’ started it all. We bought the dress at an auction at Christie’s of London 11 years ago and it started from there. We actually set out to buy the floor-length sleeveless black Givenchy sheath worn by Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Truman Capote's l961 romantic comedy Breakfast at Tiffany's, but was outbid by an anonymous French telephone bidder. We didn’t know it of course at the time but the other bidder turned out to be Givenchy himself who was desperate to have the dress back. We continued to bid for the dress but the price sky-rocketed and was eventually sold for €607,000 – seven times its pre-sale estimate. We did buy a number of other Audrey Hepburn items however, and that fateful day at Christie’s marked the start of our passion for collecting and it has really gone from there.”
The exhibition is free to enter and will remain in place until October 2019.