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Lady Violette

The Romantic Lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘Lady Violette’s Favorite Quotes’

Some good advice from Martha Graham…

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Martha Graham

Good dance teachers have been some of the most interesting people I have ever known. They not only teach you about dance, they teach you about life with their constant running commentary on everything. They are constantly working at motivating you in every way possible. It is a way of thinking and a way of life…I remember things that many of the ones I studied with said decades later.

Here is an examples – of one of those things a dance teacher would typically say in a class or a rehearsal, a philosophical missile from the dance world – from Martha Graham. And they apply to everyone, not just dancers.

” There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist again through any other medium and will be lost.” Martha Graham

Georges Braques, the French artist said,

Friday, February 18th, 2011

“There is Only One Valuable Thing in Art.

The Thing That You Cannot Explain.” – George  Braque, French Painter & Sculptor, 1882-1963.

He was so right, wasn’t he?

I think about this every day! I can explain and write about what I am thinking about when I make it, or how it comes to be, but I cannot explain the “Je ne sais quois!” factor, no one can! And I love that actually….

It adds to the mystery of the whole process…of making art and of experiencing art and life…

“YOUTH is the gift of nature, but AGE is a work of art.” – Unknown

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Lady Violette

I found this bit of advice taped to the side of my friend’s refrigerator this morning. It was torn out of a copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac  and illustrated with a pen and ink rendition of an elegant mature beauty with marceled hair primping her waves while looking into a hand mirror…

It will make me remember to primp a few times today!

“I realize that beauty is serious business and I take being beautiful seriously…It requires daily discipline and hard work! ”

Lady Violette de Courcy

Madame Lola Montez, the Adventuress and Spanish Dancer’s Dedication

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Lola Montez Adventuress and Spanish Dancer from Rialto Pictures

Lola Montez’s dedication is one of Lady Violette’s favorite quotes!

In her book, – THE ARTS OF BEAUTY, or Secrets Of A Lady’s Toilet. With Hints to Gentlemen on THE ART OF FASCINATING by Madame Lola Montez, Countess of Landsfeld, republished by Ecco Press, 1978 – the authoress Inspiringly states,

“TO ALL MEN AND WOMEN OF EVERY LAND, Who Are Not Afraid of Themselves, Who Trust So Much in Their Own Souls That They Dare Stand Up in the Might Of Their OWN INDIVIDUALITY,  To Meet The Tidal Currents of the World. This book is Respectfully Dedicated, by THE AUTHOR”

I first encountered the fascinating personage, Lola Montez, when I was attending a show of American photographer’s historic black and white portraiture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.http://www.metmuseum.org/

In a small frame in a back corner of the exhibit gallery was a tiny portrait of an arresting dark haired woman with mesmerizing eyes wrapped in an embroidered Chinese Shawl with long macrame fringe, her stare daring you to look deeper. A caption on a plaque at the bottom of the silk mat surrounding her picture read: ” Lola Montez, Adventuress and Spanish Dancer.” She was gorgeous and exotic, and my first thought was, “I want to be her!”I can’t remember any other portrait in that show, but hers I will never forget.

I began to research her. She had an amazing life, every step of the way. She was born Irish in 1818, raised in India, at 17 eloped and married  her mother’s lover to escape an arranged marriage to an octogenarian  banker. Her new husband returned her to his family home in Ireland where he drank and beat her. Then, never having even seen a Spanish dance, much less had a Spanish dance lesson in her life, she escaped domestic abuse by changing her name and recreating herself as Lola Montez, Spanish Dancer, joining a theater group, and suddenly becoming famous all over Europe including Spain as The Spanish Dancer Lola Montez! She was an enormous success, notoriously charming and amorous and became known as The Most Beautiful Woman in the World. She became the friend of Tsar Nicholas I, Franz Liszt, Balzac, and Alexander Dumas, who said, “in her was mind and heart enough for a dozen kings.”

Fate eventually led her to Vienna and the castle steps of Mad King Ludwig I of Bavaria. She captivated him and became his mistress. He appointed her Countess of Landsfeld and Baroness Rosenthat. For a while she wielded tremendous power and influence in Germany, but then in 1848, The country rebelled and Ludwig lost his throne. Lola escaped to Switzerland to await him, He never made it and was murdered. She had to flee.

Lola Montez, short of funds, was forced – after turning them down many times, to accept Barnum and Bailey’s offer to join their circus as the Most Beautiful Woman in the World. This led her to America. One thing led to another and she ended up in California during the Gold Rush and opened a brothel. There she madamed, lectured on fashion, beauty, and gallantry, and wrote her memoires.

She eventually returned to New York, worked to save battered women under her original name of Eliza Gilbert and died, as a religious recluse in 1861 at the age of only 43! She is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

In 1955 Max Orphuls made his great last movie about her life. I think it is beautiful and brilliant as she was!

” A breathtaking story about a courtesan who suffers both ecstatic highs and hellish lows. Thanks to The Cinematheque Francaise, we finally have something close to a definitive  version. Don’t miss it!” – David Fear , Time Out New York ” Lola Montes  http://www.filmforum.org/films/lolamontes.html#

Her old fashioned beauty book which I have quoted in the opening paragraph is witty, entertaining and full of quaint facial recipes and potions and inspirational quotes on beauty from ancient philosophers and writers. Her own charmingly delivered advice on life is remarkably pertinent even today. It’s a fun period book to read!

Vintage Fur of the Week – Circa 1940’s Leopard Swing Coat

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Real Leopard Fur 1940's Swing Coat

Yes, it is the real thing! A genuine leopard fur jacket! And it is absolutely beautiful! I inherited this amazing 1940’s swing style jacket. This is now an endangered species and it is illegal to kill any current day leopards or to sell their coats, be they old or new; or to keep leopards as pets. They do not do well in captivity –  usually ending up dead on the couch. The only way you can own one, (that is a coat) legally, is if you happen to have inherited it from a family member, as I did. Because this coat was made many years ago I feel it is now most respectful to the animals whose pelts are in it to take good care of the coat, (thus what is left of them!) use it and appreciate its beauty, and tell modern people about the current dilemmas of the leopard species. I use my coat, out of respect for those beautiful animals, and as a teaching tool to increase public awareness in their present day plight. FYI they are hard to find, hard to care for, and it is illegal to trade in them. You cannot legally buy or sell them or carry them over state lines. You cannot import them from one country to another. There is a lot of interesting information pertaining to this topic online. Please, go there and read about it. You will find it fascinating and receive an education!

Leopard on Wikipedia

Endangered Species Handbook

Trade in Endangered Species

eBay Guides – Leopard – Endangered Fur Guidelines

This Old Fur

Meanwhile, if you would like a real fur coat, consider the humane act of adopting an old one from a thrift shop, and renovating it or remodeling it a bit if needed. You can easily find lovely vintage fur coats at reasonable prices in thrift stores, consignment shops and estate sales, that need rescuing, and love and will transform you into a Hollywood Film Goddess of yester year. I never buy new furs accessories or new fur coats. I rescue old ones and care for them out of respect for the animals who gave their lives to make them. In a small way I make them live again. A high quality used fur coat will last for many years if properly cared for. I feel it is better to love and cherish a vintage fur for the duration of its useful life than to abandon it. I want to make sure it is understood that I only collect, use and show on my blog vintage fur coats and accessories because these fur items already exist.

I particularly like The Ritz Fur Shop in New York City. They have a great vintage ad on their website. in which a beautiful mysterious woman visits their shop to buy a used fur and leaves looking and feeling like a million without spending a million!

“Vintage Furs are Fabulous!” is one of my favorite personal slogans! I will be sharing examples of fabulous vintage furs with you through photographs in the weeks to come. And I will write another blog entry soon regarding vintage fur collecting and endangered species.

Oscar Wilde Advises

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

“Be Yourself! Everyone else is already taken!” Oscar Wilde, Playwright

Sir Cecil’s Good Advice!

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

“Be daring, be different, be impractical. Be anything that will assert your integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the common place, the slaves of the ordinary!”  Cecil Beaton, Stage & Film Designer