Underrated Female #5: Irene Galitzine


Literally a “Fashion Princess,” Irene Galitzine was a visionary Russian-born fashion designer whose most renowned creation was the “palazzo pyjama.” Galitzine was born to a Russian prince of the aristocratic Galitzine family, whose origins date back to 1200 and a Georgian mother. In 1917, following the October Revolution, the family were forced to flee the country to Italy, where Galitzine took up the study of art. She went on to study English at Cambridge and French at the Sorbonne, and joined Italian designers, the Fontana sisters, in 1943.

In 1946 she opened her own salon and presented her first collection but did not become internationally renowned until 1960, when she unveiled the iconic “palazzo pyjamas” – wide legged evening trousers made of soft silk which would come to exemplify the rich bohemian sophisticate. Galitzene’s “palazzo pyjama” collection can be seen on display in leading museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and the Costume Museum in St. Petersburg.

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. Her designs have been worn by some of the most coveted fashion clients in history Sofia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, and Greta Garbo.

In November of 1996 she published her biography entitled “From Russia to Russia”. Princess Irene Galitzine died at her home in Rome on October 20, 2006 at aged 90, leaving behind a pretty amazing legacy. Oh yeah, did I mention she was a drop-dead stunner?

Below some pics of Galitzine’s gorgeous and prophetic designs as well as the designer with Hubert de Givenchy, Audrey Hepburn, Diana Vreeland, Jacqueline Kennedy, Roger Vivier, Rudolf Nureyev, Bobby Kennedy, and Sofia Loren.  More after the jump.


2 Responses to “Underrated Female #5: Irene Galitzine”

  1. Pam

    Good call – Irene Galitzine is totally underrated. I am inspired –
    Thanks for the brilliant post!


  2. Pam

    Good call – Irene Galitzine is totally underrated. I am inspired –
    Thanks for the brilliant post!


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