Lauren Bacall Exhibition

To open next spring

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Before Lauren Bacall passed away on 12 August, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York contacted the actress and asked if it could use the hundreds of garments she had donated to create an exhibition all about her style.

‘She said, ‘Yes, it’s fine, as long as it’s high-quality — Diana Vreeland style,’’ recalled Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at FIT.

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It was the magazine editor Vreeland who discovered Bacall, putting her on the pages of Harper’s Bazaar at just 19.

Next spring, Steele will herself give young graduates the chance to curate the exhibition, that will focus on five designers who, over the years, defined Bacall’s ability to make casual clothes glamorous with her expert blend of feminine and masculine style.

‘She really epitomised 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,’ said designer Peter Som.

The exhibition will focus on Bacall’s style during the 1950s and ‘60s and will include garments by Norman Norell, her friend Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Ungaro and Marc Bohan for Christian Dior.

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