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HOW IT ALL BEGAN

It all started with a true style icon and a wardrobe classic: Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress.

The Givenchy-designed dress with a sequined peplum and matching trim at the hem, worn by Hepburn in the mad-cap thriller Charade (1963), came up for auction at Christie’s in 2006. Newbridge Silverware acquired it and was bathed for a time in the limelight that continues to follow Hepburn and her classic chic look.

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This elegant little dress was to be the first artefact in a collection of costume and personal effects belonging to legends from the world of fashion and entertainment, a collection which would become known and respected by collectors all over the world, sparks an idea that leads to the creation of Newbridge Silverware’s next innovation; the Museum of Style Icons. In 2006, William Doyle, CEO of Newbridge Silverware, was on holiday with his wife Monica, who was reading a magazine article about an upcoming Christie’s auction which was to include the black Givenchy dress Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This set in place a chain events that would lead to the building of the Newbridge Museum of Style Icons..

The Hollywood connection

The acquisition of the Hepburn dress came to the attention of Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions, the leading auction house of celebrity memorabilia. Executive Director of Julien’s, Martin J Nolan originally  from Athlone in Co. Westmeath, got in touch with Newbridge Silverware and proposed that the auction house’s next lot – an incredible catalogue of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia – should go on pre-auction exhibition at the Newbridge Silverware Showrooms in Co. Kildare.

A chic home for style icons

It was clear that such a collection, which included garments, letters and original prints from iconic Monroe photo shoots, deserved a proper museum environment for its month-long sojourn in Ireland. With just two months to spare before the arrival of the exhibits, it was decided to build the now world-renowned, Museum of Style Icons (MOSI).

This first exhibition was the beginning of a relationship between Julien’s Auction House and The Newbridge Silverware Company. Numerous pre-auction collections have been hosted in the Museum of Style Icons, including collections related to Liz Taylor, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Judy Garland, Princess Diana and costume designer William Travilla, described as ‘the man who dressed Marilyn’, among others.

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Authenticity is everything

Today the Museum of Style Icons hosts artefacts collected by a team of experts; fascinating items that once belonged to the most beautiful and talented women and men in the world. The bringing together of these rare collections has created one of the world’s most unique museums. It all started with fashion’s most enduring look; the little black dress.

What will you see?

Princesses, icons of the silver screen and the top entertainers of the world are brought to life through photos, artefacts, garments and accessories. The Museum of Style Icons throws new light on the lives of the stars both in and out of the spotlight. The exhibits highlight the fashion icons own sense of style but reveal the critical role played by the photographer, the fashion designer and the costume maker. These were the artists who created the iconic images of our heroes and heroines, images which have captured our imaginations for generations.

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Some of the highlights of the collection include

A Givenchy-designed green suit worn by Princess Grace on a state visit to Ireland in 1961 and during a visit to The White House in the same year to meet President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie Kennedy

  • Audrey Hepburn’s full-skirted floral silk dress from Funny Face (1957)
  • Three key garments worn by Audrey Hepburn in her 1963 movie, Charade
  • A rare collection of letters written by Audrey Hepburn to her father who spent his later years living in Ireland
  • Newbridge Silverware boasts the largest known collection of Hepburn garments and artefacts in the world
  • Marilyn Monroe’s evening jacket from The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)
  • Andre De Dienes’ original photographs of a young Marilyn Monroe on Tobay Beach, Long Island
  • Ivory silk cloqué Balenciaga-designed gown worn by Ava Gardner at the London premier of To Kill a Mockingbird
  • A satin wedding dress worn by Judy Garland in her movie, The Pirate (1948)
  • Catherine Walker designed pink silk evening gown with matching bolero worn by Princess Diana on her state visit to India in 1992
  • A blouse worn by Princess Diana for her engagement portrait, which was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel who went on to create her wedding dress
  • The white shirt and forearm brace worn by Michael Jackson at his last public performance in the USA, 2002
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