1916-2006 Irene Galitzine - the Fashion Spot
 
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20-10-2006
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1916-2006 Irene Galitzine
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The TimesOctober 21, 2006
Irene Galitzine

July 22, 1916 - October 20, 2006
Jet-setting fashion designer who made her name with the palazzo pyjama

NO haute couture garment is as synonymous with the 1960s as the palazzo pant. The same might be said of the slinky,wide-legged trousers’ creator, Irene Galitzine, who moved in the same jet-set circles as clients such as Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor, and rivalled them in aristocratic beauty.
A Russian princess transplanted to Rome by the October Revolution, Galitzine made her name in 1960 when she showed some new evening trousers that she had fashioned in soft silk and rainbow colours. She had long been inspired by Greta Garbo as the model for a modern, independent woman and, in the days when wearing trousers was still a male prerogative, she was seeking to make something that was liberating and yet elegantly feminine.
NI_MPU('middle');Her solution was featured in a spread by American Vogue shot at the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome, and was instantly dubbed “the palazzo pyjama” by Diana Vreeland, the queen bee of fashion.
Soon it was seen on the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Sofia Loren and Claudia Cardinale, as suitable for lounging beneath the Rococo ceilings of one’s palace as for entertaining on Capri or Cape Cod. Galitzine herself wore them to dine on Onassis’s yacht, and to meet Pamela Churchill Harriman in Nassau. Reinvented, extended, shortened and widened, almost half a century on they have become a staple of many a woman’s wardrobe.
Irene Galitzine was born into an aristocratic family in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1916. Her father, Prince Boris Galitzine, was an officer in the Imperial Guard; her mother, Princess Nina Lazareff, came from the Caucasus.In 1919 they were compelled to flee by the Bolsheviks, and after a brief period in Constantinople settled at Frascati. Three years later, by when her parents had separated, Irene and her mother moved into Rome, where they lived comfortably on the proceeds of the sale of the family jewels. However, the German occupation of Italy in 1943, and the subsequent shortages of food, compelled Irene Galitzine to find work. Fluent in five languages, she soon landed a public relations position in the Rome atelier of the Fontana sisters, where she also doubled as a house mannequin.
After the war, she studied fashion in Paris and then opened her own boutique on the Via Veneto. It thrived during the Dolce Vita years, and she became known for sophisticated, often daringly slit or open-sided evening dresses, and in 1965 won The Sunday Times International Fashion Award.
Having moved into ready-to-wear and accessories, she returned to Russia for the first time in 1988, and opened her first shop in Moscow in 1996. Some years earlier her business had been bought by an investment company, but she continued to design for it alongside younger talents, and at the start of 2006 Rome hosted a retrospective of her work in honour of her 90th birthday.
A passionate and generous woman, who always felt “500 per cent Russian”, Galitzine was predeceased by her husband. There were no children.


Irene Galitzine, fashion designer, was born on July 22, 1916. She died on October 20, 2006, aged 90.

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20-10-2006
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Bummer. I'm working on a costume exhibition and we're using quite a few pieces from her. The curator I work for will be pretty bummed when I tell her about this.

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20-10-2006
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how sad that all the people from that glamourous era are dying out... we'll see also if this causes a resurgence of 'palazzo pants' from the awareness of this. I personally knew who this woman was but not that she designed the Palazzo pant which is quite interesting....

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11-06-2007
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http://www.galitzine.it includes selected images of her work over the years and a brief bio. And another: http://www.fashionencyclopedia.com/F...ine-Irene.html



babyboomers.it

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11-06-2007
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very interesting...
thanks mm for posting!

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