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Irene Galitzine, Italy’s Fashion Princess, Dies

Irene Galitzine, Italy’s Fashion Princess, Dies

Irene Galitzine, Italy’s “fashion princess” whose gowns clothed Jacqueline Kennedy, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn, died on Friday, a spokesman for the national fashion association told Reuters. She was 90.

Galitzine, whose design house became one of the hot labels during Rome’s “Hollywood on the Tiber” fashion heyday in the 1960s, died at her home in Italy’s capital, Ansa news agency said.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

Descended from Russian nobility who fled after the 1917 revolution, the former fashion model set up shop in the 1940s. She vaulted to international attention in 1960 with her “palazzo pajamas,” a wide-legged jumpsuit made of soft silk.

Galitzine said she and other Italian designers had a knack for creating fashions for the young and carefree during the swinging 1960s.

“The French were more sophisticated, more complicated. The Italians were young and gay, they loved life, they were simpler,” she said in a 2000 interview with Women’s Wear Daily.

“It was a perfect way of dressing for our lives then. You could dance easily in them, and all you needed to wear with them was a pretty jewel.”

Her clients included jet setters, fashionistas and film stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Babe Paley and Greece’s Niarchos women. Galitzine also designed the costumes for actress Claudia Cardinale in the 1963 movie “The Pink Panther.”

In February, Rome dedicated a show to her designs called “The Princess of Fashion.” Her gowns and other creations are often included in museum exhibits of fashion as art.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Don Schacter December 10, 2006 at 5:43 pm

I met Irene Galitzine in the 1970’s and then visited her in Rome in the late 70’s. She was a most charming, unpretentious lady. When we met I told her of my Kennedy collection and she showed me a book with John & Jackie with their dog on the front cover. I asked her if she ever met Kennedy and she said told me when. She was the person who took the picture of them and was credited in the book as the photographer.

I just found out about her passing and am very sorry.


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