Dress-down Friday: La Belle Otero

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.

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  1. 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.

  2. You might also be interested in another Spanish dancer from early and mid-XXth century: Tórtola Valencia

    Tórtola Valencia

  3. C. Rancio

    There was even a fake Bella Otero, la Bella Oterito, who was painted naked by Zuloaga, a very popular painter then.

  4. Pingback: Dress-down Friday: Liane de Pougy | Strange Flowers

  5. Pingback: Secret Satan book list | Strange Flowers

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