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Gia Carangi was an American fashion model during the late 1970s and early 1980s. After she became addicted to heroin, Carangi’s modeling career rapidly declined. She later became infected with HIV and died at the age of 26. Her death was not widely publicized and few people in the fashion industry knew of it.
The Centurion Card, known informally as the black card, is a charge card issued by American Express. To become a Centurion cardholder, one must meet American Express’s strict eligibility criteria. American Express does not publicly disclose the requirements for getting a card.
Talitha Getty was an actress of Dutch extraction, born in the former Dutch East Indies, who was regarded as a style icon of the late 1960s. She lived much of her adult life in Britain and, in her final years, was closely associated with the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. Her husband was the oil heir and subsequent philanthropist John Paul Getty, Jr.
“My mother enjoyed claiming direct descent from Genghis Khan,” Gray explains as she opens this complex and rewarding family memoir. That claim gave her mother “both the aristocratic pedigree and the freedom to be a barbarian.” Tatiana Yakovleva du Plessix Liberman was 19 and hungry in 1925 when she left the Soviet Union for France. Tatiana and Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky soon fell passionately in love, but the ever-practical woman married aristocratic Frenchman Bertrand du Plessix instead. They had one child, Francine, before du Plessix was killed in early WWII combat. Tatiana then became involved with Alexander Liberman, a British- and French-educated artistic Jewish-Russian émigré. Alex, Tatiana and Francine fled to New York in 1941 and started a new life—Tatiana designing hats for Bendel’s before a career with Saks, Alex scaling the fashion journalism ladder at Condé Nast.
Barbara Hutton was an American socialite dubbed by the media as the “Poor Little Rich Girl” because of her troubled life.
At the age of 98, the dashing Lady Killearn and her antics provide us with the perfect distraction from the realities of market turmoil and credit crunches
Zoë Tamerlis Lund was a former American musician turned model, actress, and screenwriter. She was best known for her association with Abel Ferrara, in whose movie Ms. 45 she starred. Lund died in Paris on April 16, 1999, from heart failure due to extended cocaine use.
Rita Levi Montalcini is an Italian neurologist who, together with colleague Stanley Cohen, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of Nerve growth factor (NGF). More importantly, she’s a fucking style icon.
The Mosuo people are known as the ‘Kingdom of Women’ because The Na are a matrilineal society: heterosexual activity occurs only by mutual consent and mostly through the custom of the secret nocturnal “visit”; men and women are free to have multiple partners and to initiate or break off relationships when they please. The Mosuo men practice tisese which misleadingly translates as walking marriage in Chinese. However, the Mosuo term literally means “goes back and forth.” Women have the choice to invite men of interest to their private sleeping room. If the man does not reciprocate this desire, he may simply never visit the woman’s household. Men perform tisese in the true sense of the word. They can seek entry into the sleeping chambers of any woman they desire who also desires them. When feelings are reciprocal, a man will be allowed into a woman’s private sleeping area (Hua, C.) There he will spend the night and walk back to his mother’s home in the early morning.
Like an American heiress in a tale by Henry James, Iris Origo was born into a world of “unfair advantages of education, money, environment, and opportunity.” She used her birthright wisely, traveling the world, studying art with Berenson, and, with her Italian husband, improving the land and the lot of the peasants in the Val d’Orcia of Tuscany. She tells her life story in Images & Shadows.
Carré Otis is an American model and actress. Otis started dating Mickey Rourke not long after the release of Wild Orchid. The couple married in 1992, and had one of the most celebrated and stormy celebrity marriages of the 1990s.
The recently deceased Keith, born Nancy Gross in Salinas, Calif., in 1916, invented her persona as a teenager, growing into a chic woman who became known among the socially elite as Slim. Film director Howard Hawks and Broadway entrepreneur Leland Hayward divorced their wives to marry her; and although she was pursued by the likes of Clark Gable and Ernest Hemingway, the one love of her life, she writes, remained Hayward, who in turn left her for another woman. Her next and last husband was British banker Kenneth Keith, who provided her with a title and whom she left in 1972 after a 10-year marriage. Her “memoirs of a rich and imperfect life,” written with freelancer Tapert, is compulsively readable, an account of a determined striving up from the middle class to join the Beautiful People. Keith, a woman of style, is revealed also as boastful and betraying, as a gossiper who spared few friends–the real-life Lady Coolbirth of Truman Capote’s infamous Answered Prayers
Ganna Walska was the creator of the botanical garden Lotusland. She was also married six times. Her husbands included:
- Russian baron Arcadie d’Eingorn, a Russian officer, divorced him for drunkenness 1915
- Dr Joseph Fraenkel, a famed New York endocrinologist, died 1920,
- multimillionaire sportsman and carpet tycoon Alexander Smith Cochran, married 1920, divorced 1922
- industrialist Harold Fowler McCormick, married in 1922, divorced 1931
- English inventor of a death ray, Harry Grindell Matthews, died 1941
- Theos Bernard, her sixth and last husband, a scholar of yoga and Tibetan Buddhism (and book-author), married 1942, divorced 1946
Walska pursued a career as an opera singer. Her memoirs were called Always Room at the Top. Orson Welles claimed that McCormick’s lavish promotion of Walska’s opera career—despite her apparent renown as a terrible singer—was a direct influence on the screenplay for Citizen Kane, wherein the titular character does much the same for his second wife, Susan Alexander.
Charis Wilson, most widely known as a subject of Edward Weston’s photographs, was a model and writer.