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Marchesa Luisa Casati

“With her pet cheetah on a diamond-studded leash, her Lalique flask of Absinthe and tendency to go out in little else than a fur coat, it’s not surprising the Italian aristocrat caused a sensation from Paris to Hollywood during the 1920s…” from La Vie on Rose blog

All the stock market schadenfraude makes me wonder: maybe we have just been through the equivalent of the decadent 1920s? Maybe it’s history repeating. And then, there’s the unrepeatable and unique… the Marchesa Luisa Casati.

After a life of parties at her home Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on Grand Canal in Venice, after patronising the major artists of the time, she had amassed a personal debt of $25 million. To satisfy her creditors, all her possessions were auctioned. In the bid room, Coco Chanel.

The Marchesa fled to London, where she lived in comparative poverty.”She was rumoured to be seen rummaging in bins searching for feathers to decorate her hair.”

She died in London in 1957, buried amongst the illustrious dead at Brompton Cemetery. The epigraph on her tombstone is from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra: “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.”

“She was buried wearing not only her black and leopardskin finery but a pair of false eyelashes.”

Link: quotes from Wiki article, Marchesa Luisa Casati