Irene Galitzine

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Princess Irene Galitzine (Georgian: ირინა გალიცინი; Russian: Ирен Голицына) (July 22, 1916 in Tbilisi - October 20, 2006 in Rome) was a Russian-Georgian fashion designer whose most renowned creation was the "palazzo pyjama". She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1965.[1]

Biography[edit]

Galitzine was born to Prince Boris (1878–1958), an official of the imperial guard of the aristocratic Galitzine family, whose origins date back to 1200 and a Georgian mother, Princess Nina Lazareff (Lazarashvili) (1888–1957).[2] However, her family were forced to flee the country following the 1917 October Revolution, and took up residence in Italy.

After studying art in Rome, English at Cambridge and French at the Sorbonne, Galitzine joined the Italian designers, the Fontana sisters in 1943[3] and worked with them for 3 years.

In 1946 she opened her own salon and presented her first collection. In 1960, she achieved great success with the launch of her "palazzo pyjamas" which were wide legged evening trousers made of soft silk. Evening pyjamas became a firm fixture of the fashion scene during the 1960s. Currently, some of her original "palazzo pyjama" collection still exist in important museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Costume Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In 1962 she was named Designer of the Year by the Italian fashion press and in 1965 she won the British Sunday Times International Fashion Award. Since then, her creations have been worn by some of the most famous women in the world such as Sofia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Lee Radzwill, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Ira von Fürstenberg, Queen Paola of Belgium, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, Duchess of Windsor, Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari, Merle Oberon, Audrey Hepburn, Marella Agnelli, Greta Garbo, Catherine Spaak, Pamela Churchill Harriman and Claudia Cardinale.

In 1990, the Galitzine label was purchased by the Xines Company. In September 1996, Galitizine opened her first boutique in Moscow, and in November of the same year she published her biography entitled "From Russia to Russia".

Irene Galitzine was married on 29 July 1949, in Rome, to Silvio Medici de Menezes (26 Oct 1903 – 12 Jun 1989).[4] On October 20, 2006, she died at her home in Rome, aged 90.

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