The original socialite Marchesa Luisa Casati continues to play muse to designers, even after her death. We highlight how the legendary style icon has influenced modern fashion - from a namesake high fashion label to a bag collection
Move over, Paris Hilton, for the original party-loving socialite is in the house.
Hilton's dancing on tables is child's play when compared with Marchesa Luisa Casati's flamboyant lifestyle. Born in 1881, Casati was once one of the richest women in Italy and her extravagant lifestyle, the talk of high society. She made fashion statements ahead of her time, by adorning her neck with live snakes and walking cheetahs on leashes in only a fur coat.
Casati was adored by designers - the likes of Paul Poiret dressed the eccentric socialite. She posed for paintings and photographs by a list of influential artists like Giovanni Boldini, Man Ray and more, in her quest to be immortalised. She has been quoted saying, "I want to be a living work of art" and even after passing away in 1957, continues to be an inspiration.
The style icon still plays muse to this day in the world of style and the evidence is in the many ways that she has influenced modern fashion. We round up just three:
Cartier panther jewellery The famous panther jewellery that Cartier is well-known for has been rumoured to be inspired by Casati and the emerald eyes based on the socialite's own green ones. She had a stuffed panther in her home and once appeared at a fancy dress ball with a live panther.
The fashion brand Marchesa Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig named their fashion label Marchesa in 2004. The British brand's signature evening wear is as dramatic and lavish as the woman that it has been named after. Casati would approve.
CH Carolina Herrera's latest handbag line draws its style roots and name from Casati. The Casati collection features three bags made of Denver leather - the clutch Marchesa, medium cross-body bag Luisa and large shoulder bag Stampa - the names are hidden on the back of each bag. The modern, clean aesthetic of the bags from the collection is offset by a gold rectangular closure inspired by the legendary fashionista's love for extravagant jewellery.
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