Saint Laurent once gushed, "She is the pearl in the king of Poland's ear, the Queen of Sheba's tallow-drop emerald, Diane de Poitiers' crescent tiara, the Ring of the Nibelungen. She is a castle in Bavaria, a tall, black swan, a royal blue orchid."
He is referring to the beautiful, French socialite, and clothing designer, Jacqueline de Ribes. Born in 1929 in Paris as Jacqueline de Beaumont, she grew up wearing haute couture all of her life. She was consistently named to the International Best Dressed List.
By the age of 25, she was appearing on the lists of the best dressed women.
She was a muse to many designers, such as Valentino and Guy Laroche.
She grew up with the idea that women did not work therefore, she did not have her own salon until her late fifties.
Her first collection was shown in Paris and New York in 1983.
"I'm designing for a woman with my sense of elegance," de Ribes says, "someone who is astonishing without creating astonishment. I want to dress the anti-tarty, sexy woman."
A few of her clients included Cher, Joan Collins, and Nancy Reagan.
She has now been retired for a few years, but recently she was decorated as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor at the Elysee Palace in April of this year. She was presented the honor by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Jacqueline de Ribes dress at Archive