Imagine being so stylish that after you die a museum wants to showcase your wardrobe. That’s what’s happened to Ann Bonfoey Taylor. Born in 1909, she became an Olympic skier (1939), competed at Wimbledon, and got her pilot license during World War II. Edward Steichen and Toni Frissell photographed the tall blonde for Vogue, Town and Country and Harper’s Bazaar. She was a part of the jet set but wasn’t the typical socialite. She married an oilman known as Moose and built one of the first chalets in Vail, Colorado. And damn it, she looked fabulous doing it all. (Not satisfied with what was available for the slopes, she designed her own skiwear. She’s credited with inventing the fanny pack.) During her peak years (1940-1970s), every designer wanted and many did design for her (Charles James, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Madame Gres). You can peek into (some of) her closets at the exhibition “Fashion Independent: The Original Style of Ann Bonfoey Taylor” at the Georgia Museum of Art, June 2-September 15, 2013.
Upon her death at 96, Ms. Taylor’s family donated her wardrobe to the Phoenix Art Museum, which published a book to accompany the collection and traveling exhibition. A great gift for someone who has it all and wants more.