Jacqueline de Ribes

24/11/2015 5:45 PM


Jacqueline de Ribes in Yves Saint Laurent, 1962
Photograph by Richard Avedon, © The Richard Avedon Foundation


Jacqueline de Ribes in Christian Dior, 1959
Photograph by Roloff Beny, Roloff Beny Estate

Photographed by Avedon in 1955, Jacqueline de Ribes, a French Countess, shows her profile. Simple braid, strong cheek-bones, pronounced nose, swan-like neck: she is aristocratic beauty par excellence. Now, aged 86 she has been a fashion icon for decades and is the subject of a new exhibition at the Met which opened yesterday. Her wardrobe is something to be reckoned with. In 1959 she arrived at a costume dinner late, just in time for pudding, wearing an outfit made from three of her couture dresses. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Oscar de la Renta were present but it was, as de la Renta later said, “a show. And she was the star.” She was friends with Yves Saint Laurent and was one of Truman Capote’s Swans. And she shopped. The Met is displaying 60 of her couture and ready-to-wear pieces – from Armani, Balmain, Bill Blass, Dior, John Galliano, Madame Gres, Valentino, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Guy Laroche, Yves Saint Laurent and Ungaro – as well as dresses from her own collection (she, quite appropriately, turned designer in the mid-80s.) And the designers repaid the compliment. Jean-Paul Gaultier dedicated his entire collection to her in ’99 and describes her as “Parisian royalty – the essence of Parisian elegance.” Yves Saint Laurent’s partner Pierre Berge says of her “she was a real femme du monde – she had an art de vivre that included dressing in couture and also hosting dinner parties for 50 in black tie. I think she may be the last to know how to live like that.” And of herself the Countess says: “Recently someone told me I’m like a DJ of couture. Whatever I pick up I can turn into something else. It can come from the market of St. Tropez or from my grandmother or be haute couture. Modern artists do things like that.”

The Art of Style runs until February 21st

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen


12/11/2015 10:44 PM

by Jill Lowitz

Photo: Jill Lowitz wearing the Leon Max Stretch Silk Paillette Dress

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? INSPIRE CHANGE.

That was the message last night at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards held at Manhattan’s legendary Carnegie Hall. With the Mayor declaring it Women of the Year Day and the Empire State Building lit Glamour pink, the energy of this empowering message of was felt across the entire city.

Honoring female game changers in the fields of fashion, the arts, athletics, medicine and politics, the Women of the Year Awards, now celebrating their 25th year, shine a spotlight on these inspirational women.

With a brief (and hilarious) intro by comedienne Amy Schumer, the festivities commenced to honor the latest inductees into this legendary club that includes such notables ranging from Madonna to Malala.

Starting with barrier breakers like glam ballerina Misty Copeland, entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team and trans champion Caitlyn Jenner, followed by ‘girl power’ pioneer Victoria Beckham, the peacemaking survivors of the Charleston church tragedy, health advocate Cecile Richards and Hollywood hero Reese Witherspoon, who is shaking up the movie industry with her woman focused production company, the overall message was that we all have the ability to make the changes we want to see in the world. From the looks of these inspirational women whether glamming it up on the red carpet or offering their wisdom on the stage, there is nothing more beautiful than being strong, brave and believing in yourself.

One Helluva Hallowe’en

09/11/2015 11:37 PM

London is still recovering from one Hell of a Hallowe’en Hangover. For 2015 is the year that England officially went Hallowe’en crazy. Till now it’s been considered “rather American” but this year no corner of the country has ignored the celebration. In the capital, the party of the social season was the UNICEF Hallowe’en Ball. Hostess Jemima Khan went as a murder victim. Then there was Poppy Delevingne dressed as Margot Robbie’s character from “Suicide Squad” – the film her sister Cara is also starring in, and Yana Max looking hot as a Circus performer.

But when the time came for Lord Dalmeny of Sotheby’s auction house to sell a cameo role in the currently being filmed movie “Bridget Jones’ Baby” it was to much mirth that Hugh Grant, dressed as a lion – who had starred in the previous films, and a recent father, raised his hand to bid £10000. After another bid of £15000 came in, the auctioneer quipped: “Hugh, for an extra £5000 you can be involved in making Bridget Jones’s baby!”

A Portrait of Fashion

26/10/2015 5:41 PM

Alexander McQueen; Isabella Blow David LaChapelle, 1996

Whether it’s the damasks, satins, velvets and furs of the Tudor and Stuart courts or the simple cottons or woollen cloths of Regency England, fashion fixes a picture in time, and can tell us both much of the sitter and the age they lived in. “A Portrait of Fashion” is the new book to come from the National Portrait Gallery, an institution that designer Leon Max is proud to support, and is a guide to the significance of the dress featured in a collection of 600 years worth of portraits, a collection which serves as the ultimate guide to British costume through history. There is the opulence of the ‘Ditchley’ portrait of Elizabeth I, where the Queen’s majesty is proclaimed in a dress of the most luxurious fabrics and jewels, to the more glamorously feminine fashion plate that is Boldini’s Lady Colin Campbell, all over-elongated and exaggerated limbs and body in her black satin evening gown with its seductively plunging neckline.

The Rolling Stones Terry O’Neill, 1963

The Rolling Stones by Terry O’Neill meanwhile show themselves to be more rock that the Beatles, longer hair and leather jackets paired with suits, or take the cross-dressing artist Grayson Perry. His psychedelic smock dress is designed by a Central St Martins student, for over a decade the Turner Prize-winner has been collaborating with the textile-print course there. Even as recently as the ‘90s, a moment in fashion is captured in David LaChappelle’s picture of Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow camping it up in front of a burning Headingham Castle. What does it say about their relationship and how both their lives would end? There is the hat and her eccentricity, there is his goatee beard, his body squeezed into corset and arms in a long pair of red vinyl gloves, the iconoclastic fashion designer to the end. Whether 1996, or the Ditchley of 1592, McQueen or Elizabeth I, in one form or another, this is power dressing par excellence.

Gertrude Elizabeth, Lady Colin Campbell Giovanni Boldini

Grayson Perry Richard Ansett, 18 September 2013

Frieze Week

22/10/2015 11:14 PM

By Flora Naughtie

Photo: Lyndon Douglas, Frieze London

The 13th annual edition of Frieze London closed its doors yesterday, after a week in which this hot, contemporary art fair was descended upon by thousands; the inevitable mix of art world aficionados and fashionable East End hipsters. Containing everything from floating apples at Glasgow’s The Modern Institute, to sightings of Tunga’s ‘Siamese hair twins’ wandering the tents, a few works and gallery presentations did, somehow, manage to standout from the crowd. Ken Kegami’s live portraits of visitors – genitalia for men and breasts for women- caused queues throughout the five days. While ÅYR’s Comfort Zone installation, offering beds and of course a chance to charge your rapidly depleting I-phone battery mid-fair, also proved to be a popular stop.

Photo: Linda Nylind/Frieze. Anton Kern, Frieze London

Over in the more traditional layout of gallery booths, the Focus section of emerging galleries and artists produced many talking points. The inclusion this year of a Peckham based gallery- The Sunday Painter- showing Semara Scott’s work attracted the crowds’ attention, while New York/Brussels based Clearing had up an arresting series of Harold Ancart’s brilliant and graphic paintings. The blue-chip gallery stands contained just as much variation, although, one of my favorites, Do Ho Suh’s translucent structures of household appliances were features of both Lehmann Maupin’s and Victoria Miro’s stands. The Antony Kern gallery meanwhile amped up the volume with a vivid, if a little lurid, selection of Chris Martin’s paintings (you wouldn’t want to stay in there too long) while Cheim & Read provided a nice bit of humour with Jack Pierson’s piece Breakfast, hope, dinner, fear. Hauser and Wirth, however, switched up the usual boxed-in booth with a chessboard-like grid of plinths adorned with sculptures, which it would seem were interchanged as pieces were sold off throughout the week; my favorite, a small Louise Bourgeois called couple was still there on the final day…

Photo: Cajsa Carlson/Frieze. Do Ho Suh at Victoria Miro, Frieze London

Fashion Week: The Parties

06/10/2015 4:50 PM

Photo credit (clockwise from upper left): NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 16: Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic, LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images,  NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 16: Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic, LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 18: Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

In New York this fashion week gone, the party of the week was hosted by one Carine Roitfeld, former Paris Vogue Editrix now at-large internationally for Harper’s Bazaar, and was at the Plaza Hotel – dubbed the Harper’s Bazaar ‘Icons’ party it had a list that even Truman Capote would have been impressed by. Gigi, Kendall, Kate, they were all there as indeed was the magazine’s cover star Katy Perry who shimmered in Saint Laurent and later performed.

Later that week in London it was British Vogue’s turn as it – with the help of the American Ambassador – threw open the doors of his opulent residence in Regent’s Park for the British capital’s kick off fashion week carnival, attended by Bella Freud, Leon and Yana Max and Victoria Beckham. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry made a somewhat surprise appearance, chatting with Beckham and Boy George. Perhaps to be dubbed in the social annals, the Yalta conference of fashion?

Meanwhile Milan was the dolce vita as Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce hosted a decadent dinner of risotto balls and pasta all Norma under the roof of their dark and glamorous martini bar which had been transformed into a traditional Italian bistro, all dreamy ’50s with Italian songs warbling from the walls.

And as the month of shows and parties just gone came to inevitably pass, it fell to Anna Wintour to host its finale, a dinner in honour of Instagram founder, Kevin Systrom. “Clothes may come and go, but we’ll always have Paris, and now we’ll always have Instagram,” she told fashion’s greatest grammers, including Olivier Rousteing and his Balmain army of Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Joan Smalls. And, you know, the great thing was, you didn’t even have to be there. Merci beaucoup, @Instagram.

Photo credit: [Christopher Kane, Franca Sozzani, Anna Wintour, Alessandro Michele, Donatella Versace, Kevin Systrom, Stella McCartney via @versace_official]

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon

24/09/2015 5:58 PM

Audrey Hepburn photographed wearing Givenchy by Norman Parkinson, 1955 (Image: Norman Parkinson Ltd/Courtesy Norman)

There’s one month left to catch “Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon” at the National Portrait Gallery, an institution that Leon Max supports and where, next year he co-hosts “Vogue 100 : A Century of Style.” But no need to introduce Audrey, the gloriously gorgeous style icon of the 20th century, Hollywood movie star, and Hubert de Givenchy muse. She started life as a young chorus girl in London’s West End, then there came the silver screen of which she was one of the greatest stars with the great classics of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘Roman Holiday’ and later came her philanthropic work. She was one of the most photographed stars of the century – and this National Portrait Gallery exhibition includes seventy of those defining images from the greats: Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Norman Parkinson, Irving Penn and Terry O’Neill.

Get a ticket now: http://bit.ly/portraitsofanicon


Audrey Hepburn on location in Africa for The Nun’s Story by Leo Fuchs, 1958 Photo: Leo Fuchs

Brit IT Model, Clara Paget, Joins Forces with Leon Max/Maxstudio.com

23/09/2015 4:16 PM

Princess Eugenie, Cara Delevingne and Clara Paget were seen leaving Loulou’s private members’ club in Mayfair, London, after attending the Love Magazine Party Monday night 


Easton Neston was the set and Clara Paget the model, for the Leon Max/MaxStudio.com Autumn/Winter campaign now to be seen in September and October magazines. Clara is part of the latest crop of IT Brit models, running with the Cara Delevingne crew of Suki Waterhouse and Georgia MayJagger. Her dad may be the Marquess of Anglesea but Glastonbury is her playground and this blonde 27-year old bombshell’s movie roles to date include Brit flick “St Trinians” and the Hollywood mega movie “Fast & Furious 6.”

You may recognise her in this season’s Burberry campaign too. Check out Clara behind the scenes at the Leon Max photo shoot at Easton Neston below:

Suddenly, This Summer

12/08/2015 1:09 AM

Suddenly, This Summer

Summer in London, to me, is like  a wasp nest exploding. Swarms of Canary yellow barely theres and denim whatever’s pollinate the city’s hotspots. Shrills and screams and bus tours of disposable BBQ hoarding park goers clog the pavements on route to the nearest open space. Cue Port Elliot in Cornwall: the old rockers, fashion’s finest and public school poets festival Mecca, and an opportune moment to wear my MaxStudio stripey PJ’s three days running. My summer tour of England didn’t stop there: with the promise of a blooming vegetable garden, backgammon tournament and over zealous Jack Russell’s I scarpered to mum’s house in Gloucestershire. Being Dr. Greenthumb (an amateur gardener) attire is everything; match your dress pattern and print to the wild flower bed and sharpen your shears  – natures calling!

Contributing Editor: Harriet Verney

Fashion Fun Under a London Sun

06/07/2015 11:02 PM

Fashion Fun Under a London Sun

Finally London has seen a little bit of an English sun and the fashion set has been celebrating the summer season. First we had the Vogue party at Kensington Palace’s Orangery to celebrate Ralph Lauren as Wimbledon uniform outfitter for the last decade. Jessica Chastain brought some Hollywood glamour to W8 and Cinderella actress Lily James looked cute in a crisp white shirt dress. Then it was over to the Serpentine Gallery for it’s annual Summer Party, this year co-hosted by hot Scots designer Christopher Kane who provided his gaggle of girls including Lara Stone, Alexa Chung and Poppy Delevingne while Yana Max wore Leon Max Collection. Though fashion maybe fun, the one thing they can all agree on: it’s more fun when there’s sun.

Fashion Fun Under a London Sun

06/07/2015 11:02 PM

Fashion Fun Under a London Sun

Finally London has seen a little bit of an English sun and the fashion set has been celebrating the summer season. First we had the Vogue party at Kensington Palace’s Orangery to celebrate Ralph Lauren as Wimbledon uniform outfitter for the last decade. Jessica Chastain brought some Hollywood glamour to W8 and Cinderella actress Lily James looked cute in a crisp white shirt dress. Then it was over to the Serpentine Gallery for it’s annual Summer Party, this year co-hosted by hot Scots designer Christopher Kane who provided his gaggle of girls including Lara Stone, Alexa Chung and Poppy Delevingne while Yana Max wore Leon Max Collection. Though fashion maybe fun, the one thing they can all agree on: it’s more fun when there’s sun.

Royal Ascot: The Best Dressed

24/06/2015 4:33 PM

Royal Ascot: The Best Dressed

Royal Ascot is the apogee of the English social season. It’s top hats and morning coats and duchesses in big, flowery Philip Treacy hats – oh, and some people are there for the Racing too. Hosted by Her Majesty the Queen on her royal racecourse just down from Windsor Castle the Tuesday to Saturday of Ascot Week sends the Bold and the Beautiful of the London social scene scuttling – or flying – down to Berkshire for a day of luncheons and picnics and tea parties and betting. And when it comes to these fine fillies and their fashion; well, the bets are off.

Get Cartier

18/06/2015 4:45 PM

Get Cartier

The Cartier Polo at Windsor is one of the great set-piece moments of the summer for any English socialite worth her salt. The chicest French jeweller hosting a glam lunch followed by the Queen giving away the cup to dreamy polo players? It just doesn’t get much better than that does it! For the royal play-pack there was only one thing to worry about this lovely June weekend – yes, this is England and so was it going to rain? But the storm clouds gathering over Windsor did nothing to dampen the fashion spirit. James Middleton’s girlfriend the TV presenter Donna Air opted for pale pink and a cute high-necked white shirt, while glamazon supermodel Jodie Kidd, sat next to designer Leon Max at the lunch, was cool in a discreet navy dress and sandals. She sensibly had a leather jacket to hand – a hip twist to pull over the shoulders as the sky blackened over the spectacular hydrangeas that surrounded the pristine white marquee.


22/05/2015 5:39 PM


The 23rd annual Life Ball – The vibe exudes the essence of a neo-classical Studio 54, with wigs and costumes, celebrities, drag queens, models, and the iconic looks of Jean Paul Gaultier. An amazing philanthropic event founded by Gery Keszler to benefit his non-profit AIDS LIFE, Life Ball has become one of the biggest fundraising events for HIV/AIDS research and awareness. This year, Jean Paul Gaultier capped off the night with a retrospective fashion show for the ages as the party raged on at Vienna’s City Hall.

(Photos courtesy of Models.com)


21/05/2015 8:00 PM


A group of Charles March’s friends were invited to try out new cars around the famous Goodwood racing circuit. I drove a Ferrari Speciale around the track with a racing instructor screaming “Faster, faster, shift, break, downshift!” Other cars included BMW’s electric Batmobile (which was very good but only a 70 mile range) as well as Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG, Bentley, McLaren, Porsche, Range Rover, and Morgan, all of which had several of their models on hand. And of course there was the fleet of Rolls Royces to take the guests (who included Viscount Linley, Matthew Freud, Otis Ferry and Edie Campbell) to the nearby RR factory for a tour. The scariest car in the lineup? A million pound bright blue Swedish rocket of a car by Koenigsegg.

Contributor: Leon Max

Action Innocence

19/05/2015 8:04 PM

Action Innocence

Dateline: Geneva – the international Jetset gather at the Hotel Intercontinental for the 15th annual Action Innocence Gala, raising almost 3 million Swiss francs for an amazing cause helping children. A who’s who of Europe were there for the fete organised by Valerie Wertheimer, of the Chanel-owning family. She gathered together an assortment of Chiracs, Ayoubs and Manoukians as well as the gorgeous French actress Clothilde Courau, aka The Princess of Venice. Also in attendance: Yana Max looking heavenly in Leon Max, of course.

The Anglo-Files

06/05/2015 5:28 PM


America: the land of hope and glory ; England the land of dope and Glory Holes.  Cue BritWeek; a celebration of limeys in all their glory in across the pond hosted by the British Consulate. Brit week- now in its 9th year- is 7 day bonanza in honour of the UK-LA alliance, focusing on music, the arts, film and of course fashion.  From punk canary haired designer Pam Hogg, to artist Duggie Fields, the presence of the British in California did not go amiss.

Tamie Adaya- Matriarch, figurehead and mother of Santa Monica’s

Infamous art Deco hotel; The Shangri-LA- hosted three events during the week;

A tea party held for British eccentric and national treasure Zandra Rhodes collaborated with UK milliner Pier Atkinson, her Schiaparelli pink hair hard to miss amongst the sea of caramel blondes.

From balancing pink glittered cherry’s, to golden bulldogs on baseball caps, Swarovski embellished veils; Atkinson’s’ hats alongside and Rhodes vivacious prints made a hard impact against the art deco white of the Shangri-LA hotel.

 Owner of the peculiar modern art-cum-stately home Aynhoe Park , James Perkins, hosted another party on The Shangri La hotels rooftop-Suite 700.

Other nights saw LA based and English Royalty, Lord Freddy Winsor attending the weeks opening party, sponsored by ye oldy Scottish shortbread makers ‘Walkers’. Obviously –it is LA after all- even the pure butter shortbread biscuits were gluten free.

(Photo: Contributor Harriet Verney at the Shangri-La Hotel in Leon Max)


Tribeca Film Festival 2015

27/04/2015 4:22 PM

Tribeca Film Festival 2015

After a long and treacherous winter, New York could use some fun, and this year it comes in the form of Tribeca film festival. New Yorkers come out of hibernation to celebrate the latest and greatest from cinema, and luckily for me, the festival is right on my doorstep. James Franco’s new thriller ‘The Adderall Diaries’, and ‘Bleeding Heart’ starring Girls favorite Zosia Mamet, were among some of this year’s favorite movies. As well as the cinematic events, fashion also has a big part to play this week. While the day is all about casual and cool, the evening is a more formal affair with gatherings such as the annual Vanity Fair party, and Chanel dinner commanding appearances from New York elite, proving there’s a lot to get excited about. Fortunately Max Studio has the perfect attire for all occasions. While checking out the screenings in the day, I felt comfortable and effortless, in a micro suede mini, and lightweight turtle neck, which I paired with my trustee white Stan Smith trainers. In the evening I transitioned my look with black floaty dresses or the brands new on trend sleeveless jumpsuit. Either way with the cultural community in full force, and the sun shining bright, it looks like New York has finally gotten the Spring awakening it deserves.

Contributing Editor: Flynn Rodham

Shop Flynn’s Looks:

Silk Chiffon Bracelet Length Sleeve Dress

Cupro Sleeveless Jumpsuit

16GG Silk & Cashmere Ribbed Turtleneck

Micro Suede Fringed Mini Skirt


21/04/2015 4:06 PM


      Friday night, Hollywood: Designer Leon Max, W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi and supermodel Amber Valletta co-hosted the West Coast launch of Stefano’s new book ‘W: Stories’ at a chic house over-looking the Hollywood Hills.

      The guests, of course, looked fabulous including Amber Valletta in Leon Max who caught up with Angela Lindvall, also in Leon Max, as well as Alexandra von Furstenberg, China Chow and Vanessa Getty. They all admired the photographic installations – W: Stories is a round-up of the magazines most avant-garde fashion stories, whether it be Steven Klein’s bizarre “One for the Ages” or Tim Walker’s alien “Planet Tilda.” And the guests were confronted with a fabulous three tier video installation and headphones with which to listen while short movies from the editorials played. Inside they were confronted by enormous stills from the shoots on the walls of the house. 

     All a useful talking point, if Hollywood needs anything so mundane as a useful talking point. Yana Max chatted to Sophie Windsor, and as well as these two beauties other IT girls wearing Leon Max included “Better Call Saul” Actress Rhea Seehorn, Katie Nehra & Sasha Alexander all enjoying a cocktail or two around the pool whilst enjoying the view. And what a lovely view. It could have been a scene from an editorial in W itself, no doubt.

This is Not Fashion – This is Art

15/04/2015 12:39 AM

“This is not fashion- this is art.” – Journalist and long time McQueen devotee Hilary Alexander exclaimed-as she gave the opening speech at the V&A’s Savage Beauty exhibition Gala.

Savage Beauty is the first and largest retrospective of Alexander McQueen’s lifetime of work; from his 1992 graduate collection featuring barded wire printed silk, to his poignant last and unfinished collection in Autumn/Winter 2010 entitled  “Angels and Demons.”

Since flying in from New York’s Metropolitan Museum Of Art, the show has been the fastest selling exhibition the V&A has had to date and it’s not surprising why.  Making one’s way through the labyrinth of rooms brimming with pieces from his shows, collections and a curiosity cabinet laden with pieces from collaborators; Savage Beauty is about as close as you were ever going to get inside the head of a genius. And even then you were far off.

From the transfixion of Kate Moss’s infamous hologram, to the pert bottoms peeking out from his iconic “bumsters” debuted in his “Highland Rape” collection; there was just as much of Alexander’s savage as there was his beauty.

Just before F.K.A Twigs began her McQueen clad set; friend and muse Annabelle Neilson climbed onstage, like a bird of paradise attempting its first steps, in a couture McQueen pink feathered dress:

“If Lee was here…  he would have left two hours ago!” (because he’s as naughty as a rockstar)


“Harriet Verney is the niece of the late Isabella Blow who discovered Alexander McQueen.”