Thursday, April 22, 2010
Doyenne of 'Le Tout Paris' receives Légion d’Honneur
Valentino is known as “The Last Emperor” of fashion, since his biopic under that title. And the Roman legend has the words for Jacqueline de Ribes, his friend, favored client and former employer.
“Jacqueline is the Last Queen of Paris,” said Valentino, as the elegant aristocrat received the Légion d’Honneur from the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, last week.
The feisty countess, 80, said that since she was born on July 14, France’s revolutionary moment, she was bound to have “fireworks” in her character. She earned the award for her cultural and philanthropic contribution to her country.
But she might also have been honored for being a hostess with the most-est — a skill she displayed at the dinner she and Count Édouard de Ribes, her husband of 62 years, gave for “le Tout-Paris” after the awards ceremony.
“They say I am the last survivor of the Beistegui ball — it sounds like surviving the Titanic,” said the countess, referring to one of the grandest social events of the 20th century: the masked oriental ball thrown in 1951 in Venice by Mexican/French heir Carlos de Beistegui, with the clotted cream of international society from the Duchess of Windsor to the Aga Khan.
- Suzy Meinze for the New York Times
A well-deserved honor for a philanthropist of unceasing energy and commitment.