The fashion world tributes Lauren Bacall with an exhibition: A look back at her iconic style

A new exhibition of the style icon's personal items will open its doors next year

Linda Sharkey
Friday 15 August 2014 12:53

Fashion Institute of Technology is set to open an exhibition on Lauren Bacall’s style featuring hundreds of her personal garments next year in New York.

The exhibition will focus on five designers that helped define Bacall’s memorable grown up style on the Fifties and Sixties, which will endure long after her death. The clothes she donated include designers Yves Saint Laurent, Norm Norell, Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin, and Ungaro.

Bacall, who died on Tuesday at 89, was the model turned actress who became a style icon during Hollywood’s golden age.

She had a timeless sophistication; her style was a mix of classic feminity and more androgynous pieces. What made her stand out was the inherent sense of style; she didn’t wear obviously sexy clothes but would instead stick to tailored blazers and silky blouses.

She began her golden career as a model at the age of 16 – she had a striking face, hypnotising eyes, glossy hair and a enviable curves. Her silhouette was ideal for the draped gowns and nipped-in waists that were so prevalent at that time.

She became good friends with Yves Saint Laurent and other defining designers from the Forties and Fifties like Norm Norell and Ralph Lauren.

Following the news of her death, Ralph Lauren said: “Lauren Bacall had a kind of legendary glamour that was all about who she was - beautiful, bold and independent.”

American fashion designer Peter Som said: "She really epitomized this idea of effortlessness. It's like she never was trying too hard and I think that sometimes is the most difficult thing to achieve.

"The clothes [on Bacall] are so simple and so chic, and they still feel today so relevant. They feel like clothes you kind of want to wear."

Designer Isaac Mizrahi described Bacall to InStyle magazine in 2001 as “a smart Jewish girl from the Bronx who knew Norell as well as Loehmann’s”. He said: “She’s our reference for what smart looks like.”

She was the opposite of her fellow star and icon, Marilyn Monroe, and yet still sexy.

At present there are no plans for the Victoria and Albert museum to holda Lauren Bacall exhibition.

Additional reporting by AP

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