Thanks to a superb collection of postcards I found online recently, I’ve been deepening my appreciation of La Belle Otero‘s spellbinding fashion anarchy. The Belle Époque courtesan and dancer, famously bedded by princes and kings and showered in jewels, was a favourite postcard motif of the era. But even given her reputation it’s surprising just how far she goes: dressed as a nun, a torera and a Byzantine empress; clad in a daring catsuit or scandalously baring her shoulders.
Ooh, one might well say, la la.
I always thought she was the most homely of Les Trois Grâces, but seeing so much of her at once here makes me think she had the most personality. The happy hooker goes to Paris.
Personality, and curves for days!
You might also be interested in another Spanish dancer from early and mid-XXth century: Tórtola Valencia
Thanks for the tip – I really like the illustration
She inspired several poets and artists of her time, she’s a really interesting figure. Also had relation with another Spanish decadent and dandy: Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent (I remember they managed a fake marriage or something like that), it’s a shame there is not very much information about them in English! I found this: http://www.cornermag.org/corner02/page08.htm
There was even a fake Bella Otero, la Bella Oterito, who was painted naked by Zuloaga, a very popular painter then.
Pingback: Dress-down Friday: Liane de Pougy | Strange Flowers
Pingback: Secret Satan book list | Strange Flowers