“I want to be a living work of art”
I would like to introduce you some people who made a really great contribution into a modern fashion and considered to be a fashion icons today.
Maybe, you will find your inspiration here 😉
Let’s start with one of the most mystical and unusual women of the 20th century, Luisa Casati (1881 – 1957), with her unique biography and style, who is still inspiring modern designers, stylists and artists.
This is she, after who the „Marchesa” brand is named, this is she, who is the muse of John Galliano, Karl Lagerfield and Dries Van Noten. And this is she, who’s portraits was drawn by almost every talented artist of her era.
Giovanni Boldini – La Marchesa Luisa Casati
This woman had lived an incredibly beautifull life, which, in fact, was a development of the world’s art and fashion, and gave a birth to a whole boghemic style.
She was born in a „golden cradle”, Italian aristocratic family, who was owning a giant textile business. Luisa’s parents were one of the richest dynasties in Europe. Unfortunately, at the age of 15, she lost them and was left, face-to-face, with this giant fortune, which was containing several palaces, mills and other wealth.
In her 18, Luisa Amman is marrying a Marquis Camillo Casati Stampa di Soncino and gains a Marquise Casati title, which she will be wearing also after their devorce.
That days occultism and black magic was a big trend, all european high society were reading fortune and talking with spirits of dead. It becomes Luisa’s passion, and she will be doing it all her life. That’s why there was always a halation of mystery and magic around her name. Astrologists, fortune tellers and others were living in her palaces for years, just like oracules of Emperor.
At the same time, Marquise starts organising a fantastic costuming balls and mascarades.
Always being shy and quite,suddenly, Luisa starts impressing her guests with a fantastic outfits, as far as an ability to get used to the image of the personalities.
Luisa Casati in costume “Queen of the night”, disegned by Léon Bakst, 1922
For one of the mascarades of 1905 year she comes in the gown made of gold embroidery and rivets a public for an indecent long time.
Luisa Casati and mystery companion in the garden. Photo: Mariano Fortuny, Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei – Museo Fortuny © Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia
But to impress with a dress – is it obscene? Giant pythone instead of clothes, or a leopard manthle, thrown over a naked body – this is a real matter.
A love affair with a famous poet Gabrielle D’Annoncio opened her up – her natural shyness first were hiding behind enourmously expensive outfits, and then grown to a giant epatage.
One of her another passions were pets. But not just cats and dogs, ofcourse. She was surrounding herself with an exotical parrots, snakes, chimpanzees and even gepards, who she wask walking out in a streets of Venice. It has to be said, that all of them were treated even better, than some people, wearing a diamond collars and eating from a golden bowls.
1912 Marchesa Luisa Casati, with two cheetahs by Leon Bakst
Luisa was known as a famous mecenat. A big fan of art., she was patronating many artists, well-known and not really. Alberto Martini, Giovanni Boldini, Arthur Rubinshteign and many others.
Marquise by Keese van Donghen
One of the most well-known portraits of Luisa Casati made by Augustus Edwin Johna
Giovanni Boldini „Marquise Luisa casati with a peacock feather”, 1915 r., Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna
With time, her balls became so impressive, that their descriptions you can find in many biographical books of her famous coevals, such as Icedora Dunkan, Van Dongen, etc. Just as an example, during one of them every single guest were presented a rose, made from a pure gold.
Ofcourse, after around 30 years of such an outrageous life, her wealth starts to run low and she fells into a giant depths.
A richest woman in Europe in the past, she ends her days in a small flat in London with a lovely pekingesses and enjoying her favorite hobby- spiritual seanses.
Now I would like to show you some fashion collections, shootings, catwalk shows made under inspiration of Luisa Casati.
Yves Saint Laurent SS 2004
Tilda Swinton for Acne Paper, F/W 2009
Georgina Chapman for Harper’s Bazaar, March 2009
Lagerfeld for Chanel Resort 2010
Galliano for Dior Couture Spring/Summer 1998
And here is my stylisation of Luisa Casati
Style, Idea, Model: Dinara Kazakova
Photo: Andrey Mrachkovski
Make up: VO faces
Hair: Enick Akhmedova