Life and style of Pauline de Rothschild
She was born Pauline Potter at 10 rue Octave Feuillet in the Paris neighborhood of Passy, to wealthy expatriate American parents of Protestant background. Her mother was Gwendolen Cary, a great-grand-niece of Thomas Jefferson, Potter was a member of several families that were prominent in the American South since the 17th century.
In 1930, in Baltimore, Maryland, Pauline Potter married Charles Carroll Fulton Leser (1900–1949), a grandson of one of the city's leading newspaper publishers. He was also an alcoholic and a homosexual. Soon after their marriage they moved to Majorca, Spain, but they separated in 1934, and divorced in 1939.
After she and Leser separated, Pauline Potter was romantically involved with a number of prominent men, including Paul-Henri Spaak (a Prime Minister of Belgium), American diplomat Elim O'Shaughnessy (1907-1966), French horticultural heir André Levesque de Vilmorin (1907-1987), Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovitch Romanov of Russia, and producer-director Jed Harris. For a period of years she also was the lover of Isabelle Kemp, an heiress to a New York drug-store and real-estate fortune.
In the early 1930s, Pauline Potter worked as a personal shopper in New York City, acting as a fashion advisor to wealthy socialites too busy to shop or too unsure of their personal style. Later, after moving to Spain with her first husband, Pauline operated dress shops on Majorca. She also worked for the couturier Elsa Schiaparelli in London and Paris and often was seen in society columns dressed in the firm's latest creations.
In the early 1940s, Pauline Potter and a friend, Louise Macy, a former editor of Harper's Bazaar, opened Macy-Potter, a short-lived fashion house, in New York City. The firm was bankrolled by a monetary settlement from Macy's former lover, millionaire John Hay Whitney, who had left her to marry Betsey Cushing, a former daughter-in-law of President Franklin Roosevelt. Though Macy-Potter's first (and only) collection was a critical and financial disaster, Potter went on to design a collection for Marshall Field and later to direct the custom-fashion division of Hattie Carnegie, the New York fashion company, succeeding Jean Louis, who left in 1943 to become chief fashion designer for Columbia Pictures.
Pauline remained at Hattie Carnegie for nearly a decade and was known professionally as Mrs. Fairfax Potter. Among her clients were the Duchess of Windsor, automotive heiress Thelma Chrysler Foy, actress Gertrude Lawrence, actress Ina Claire, and prominent others. She also designed the women's costumes for John Huston's Broadway 1946 production of No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre, starring Ruth Ford and Annabella. The gown she designed for Ford is in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York.
Potter also worked briefly as an uncredited fashion model. One assignment for Harper's Bazaar had her posing in the latest Grecian-style gowns for the photographer Louise Dahl-Wolfe.
On 8 April 1954, Pauline Potter became the second wife of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the owner of the fabled French winery Château Mouton Rothschild.
This second marriage transformed her, not only from Pauline Potter the stylish woman to Baronesse Pauline de Rothschild the style icon.
All of her early years of modelling, styling, selling and designing clothes had developed and nourished her sense of style, and now, as a Rothschild, she had the means to acquire and wrap herself in cloths of her style, the couturiers like Balenciaga, Courreges and Saint Laurent who are able to accommodate her needs, the venues to show, and the presses and photographers to immortalise "le style Pauline".
In more than a decade, she transformed herself into one of the most elegant women in the world, and in 1969, she achieved the highest honour a society lady could have: She was admitted to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame, the only woman that year, alongside elegant men like Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Cary Grant, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
But "le style Pauline" was much more than how she dressed, or how she carried herself, it would increasingly mean the way how she decorated her houses in Paris, London, and Bordeaux, Chateau de Mouton.
Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Pauline's second husband, a descendant of the Rothschild banking dynasty, was a race-car driver, a screenwriter, a playwright, a theatrical producer, a film producer, a poet, a wine maker, and a famed playboy. In fact, Pauline was only one of his mistresses for many years before their marriage, but after they got married, the Baron read, wrote and translated poetry with his wife, and provided her with a stage--Chateau de Mouton, for a woman of taste, energy and determination like Pauline, to act out the best role in her life.
With the help of her husband, Pauline de Rothschild renovated the war ruined estate of Rothschild in Bordeaux into one of the best wine museums in the world. A big project that took years, it showed her taste more than all the dresses she worn during those years.
If Chateau de Mouton which was designed as museum was Pauline's grand stage given to her by her husband, where family history as well as culture heritage needed needed to be considered, then their apartment in Paris and flat in London were more like her playground, like Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, where she can indulge much more freely her intimate and personal taste.
Pauline de Rothschild died on 8 March 1976, of a heart attack in the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel, in Santa Barbara, California. She previously had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone open-heart surgery for a deteriorated valve in 1975. Rothschild's health problems were exacerbated by Marfan's syndrome, a genetic abnormality.
1925: A 5 million dollar baby
Gloria Vanderbilt (with full name Gloria Laura Madeleine Sophie Vanderbilt) was born in New York on 20 February 1924, into the wealthiest family in America, whose Patriarch Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877), her great-great grandfather made his enormous fortune from steamship and railroad and left behind about 200 million dollars.
Her father, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880–1925), unfortunately, was a gambler and an alcoholic, who died of liver disease when Gloria was not yet 2 years old, and left her with 5 million dollar in trust fund (67 million dollar in today's value).
1925-1933: A movable feast in Europe
Her mother, Gloria Mogan(1904-1965), the twin sister of Thelma Furness(who was ex-lover of Edward VIII when he was Prince of Wales), took Little Gloria to Paris to live. And from then on, they(or rather her mother Gloria Mogan) live like wealthy Gypsies, in a permanent movable feast, from Paris to London to Cannes and back to Paris again, and Little Gloria stayed with her loyal nanny Emma Sullivan Kieslich more than with her own mother.
1934: Trial of Century
The idyllic life as an European exile came to a halt for Gloria Mogan, when her mother was upset about the social life of her daughter and concerned about the future of her granddaughter little Gloria, and decided to enlist the help of the latter's aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, thus triggering the most scandalous war of custody of the 20 century.
The testimony would become so off colour that the judge had to close the door of the courtroom to the public, but the damage has been done. Gloria Vanderbilt would be forever called "The poor little rich girl".
When it finally ended, Gloria Mogan lost the custody of her daughter who would be living with her aunt Gertrude for the next seven years in the latter's Long Island Estate.
1941: From Long Island to Hollywood
It seems that deep in her heart, Gloria Vanderbilt was her mother's daughter, aspiring for life and freedom, and her aunt Gertrude's way of raising her up was perhaps too much for her.
At age of 17, she decided to leave her aunt to go to Hollywood. There, she met the very handsome and very rich Howard Hughes. she wanted to marry him.
But instead she married his press secretary, Pasquale DiCicco, and her aunt Gertrude was so angry about the news that she disinherited Gloria.
And the marriage was not a happy one, full of physical abuses and violence from her husband. So four years later, Gloria divorced him, walking out of the marriage not only happier, but richer, as she came into her $5 million trust fund.
And she was in love.
The new man in her life was Leopold Stokowski, a man of music, a British conductor of Polish origin. Although more than 40 years older than her, he was also a man of passion, and they got married just a few weeks after Gloria's divorce.
And it was thanks to him, Gloria Vanderbilt discovered her love in art and decided to nurture her talent by painting, writing poetry and studying at The Art Students League of New York, then embarked on a short career in acting, on Broadway as well as in television dramas, she also became mother of two sons: Stan Stokowski and Christopher Stokowski.
After 10 year of marriage with Leopold Stokowski, Gloria decided to divorce him after a short affair with Frank Sinatra.
And she did not stay divorced for long.
1956: third time in a row
In 1956, Gloria Vanderbilt Married Sidney Lumet, a television then film director. Their marriage lasted for 7 years but they remained friends all their life.
1963: love of her life
Then Gloria met screenwriter Wyatt Cooper.
They married in 1963, and Gloria would stay in this marriage until death took her husband away.
To Gloria Vanderbilt, Wyatt Cooper was the love of her life, her soul mate.
And the father of her children.
Gloria had longed to become mother again, and Cooper made her dream come true by giving her two beautiful sons: Carter Cooper and Anderson Cooper. It also made Gloria Vanderbilt discover another wonderful side of Cooper:
“We had the family life that I’d always wanted,” Vanderbilt said. “He made me understand what it would have been like to have had a father – he was a most amazing father. I’d never experienced anything like it.”
The marriage was also very inspiring for Gloria's sense of creativity. She got the idea of designing her own brand of jeans, by making the high-end Italian jeans she herself wore more affordable and fit better. It was huge success, so successful that she became "the duchess of denim" or "queen of jean", and later would branch out into other areas including scarves, shoes, table and bed linen and even china.
While life gave her glory, it was also waiting to bring her tragedy. After 15 year of happy marriage, in 1978 Gloria lost her husband Wyatt Cooper to heart attach on operating table.
She never married again.
Ten years later, in 1988, she would have to live through another devastating tragedy: her first son with Wyatt Cooper, Carter Cooper would jump out of her apartment, killing himself.
She survived again, and wrote a book to deal with her pain years later.
2000s: warrior of society
After living so much and seeing it all, Gloria Vanderbilt continued to live more fully: she dined and danced and designed, she painted and exhibited her works, and she wrote, and wrote, and wrote. Nothing seemed taboo for her, not even erotica. In 2009, she wrote an erotic novel Obsession, and she was not shamed about it, either.
“I don’t think age has anything to do with what you write about. The only thing that would embarrass me is bad writing, and the only thing that really concerned me was my children. You know how children can be about their parents. But mine are very intelligent and supportive."
2016: The rainbow comes and goes
Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt's younger son she had with her last husband Wyatt Cooper, had always had close relationship with her mother. But as a prominent journalist and news anchor for CNN who had extremely busy schedule and a public figure who was private about his personal life, there are things mother and son either do not have time to talk or choose not to talk.
Until one day, Anderson Cooper decided that he wanted to ask his mother things he did not ask before, tell her thing he did not tell her before. They sat down, talked, and it opened the door to his mother's memory. They made the conversations into written word, to record, to remember, to love.
Gloria Vanderbilt died at her home in Manhattan on June 17, 2019 of stomach cancer earlier in the month. She would be buried next to her son Carter Cooper and last husband Wyatt Cooper.
Name: Jayne Wrightsman
Original name: Jane Kirkman Larkin
birth place: Flint, Michigan, U.S.
birth date: 21 October 1919
death place: New York, New York, U.S.
death date: 20 April 2019
Jayne Wrightsman is an American art collector, philanthropist, and the widow of Charles B. Wrightsman, an American oil executive who passed away in 1986.
Jayne was born in Michigan and when she was 12, her parents divorced and her mother took her and her siblings to Los Angeles, where Jane re-named herself “Jayne”.
After graduating from high school, she worked several different jobs: as a swimsuit model, selling gloves at Saks department store, or as an extra in Hollywood movies. Beautiful at young age, she was pursued by aspiring actors including Cary Grant, playboys, and heirs who took her to expensive restaurants and parties.
There are different versions as to how Jayne met her husband Charles Wrightsman, the president of Standard Oil of Kansas, one version is that she met him in one of the parties she was taken by one of her dates, but another version is more entertaining: while working as a swimsuit model at a department store, Jayne caught the attention of the Oklahoma oil baron, Charles Wrightsman, who reportedly said: 'I want that - the girl, not the suit.'
They were married on March 28, 1944 and settled in Palm Beach, Florida. Soon afterwards the couple acquired Blythedunes – a massive ocean-front, 28-room mansion designed by Maurice Fatio which previously belonged to another style icon Mona von Bismarck.
There in Palm Beach the couple became friends with their neighbours, Joseph and Rose Kennedy who introduced them to their son Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. For a time, John Kennedy stayed at the Wrightsman home for almost a month, taking daily swims in their saline permanently heated pool to ease his backache.
With her love of art, history and everything French, Jayne Wrightsman became friend with Jacqueline Kennedy and later her mentor in decorative art. It was she who introduced the famous French decorator Stephane Boudin to Jacqueline. When Jacqueline became First Lady, she asked Jayne to help with her restoration of the White House.
When Jacqueline was no longer First Lady, she continued to keep her friendship with Jayne. According to Marella Agnelli, yet another style icon and wife of Gianni Agnelli: "It was a cultural friendship", not an intimate one. As both women were famous being extremely private.
After their marriage, Charles Wrightsman became a Pygmalion to his wife, he hired tutors to teach her etiquettes, proper English as well as French, art and history, and spent fortunes to dress her in the best haute couture designers at the time: Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Givenchy, etc., and thus transformed her into an art connoisseur and style icon.
Vogue magazine started to take her photos with their photographers Horst. P. Horst and Cecil Beaton, and in 1965, Jayne entered into International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame of another woman's magazine Vanity Fair.
But Jayne Wrightsman is best known for her support of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
For decades, Jayne traveled the world with her husband, assembling a museum-quality collection of French furniture and Old Master paintings, which filled their homes in Palm Beach, New York and London.
In 1978, Charles and Wrightsman donated some artworks and artefacts to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and over the years, they slowly donated most of their collections to the MET, which became Wrightsman Galleries of French Decorative Arts, a series of 18 stately and intimate galleries (originally arranged by Jayne Wrightsman with the help of Henri Samuel) housing 18th- and 19th-century French interiors and furnishings, originally made for Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, with 94 paintings and prints by artists such as El Greco, Fragonard, Claude Monet, Peter Paul Rubens, Eugène Delacroix, Jacques-Louis David, Johannes Vermeer, Goya and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, among others, as well as rare books and other object d'arts.
It is tragic to see how aged she has become… one wonders whether it is worthwhile suffering for so much of her life. Yet if she left him, she could be penniless.'
After her husband’s death in 1986 at the age of 90, Mrs. Wrightsman continued her patronage of the Met, as well as the British Museum, the Louvre, and the Hermitage.
Jayne Wrightsman died on 20 April 2019 in her New York home on 820 Fifth Avenue. She has no children.
Prince Ali Salman Aga Khan (13 June 1911 – 12 May 1960), known as Aly Khan, was a son of Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga Khan III, the leader of the Nizārī Ismaili Muslims, a sect of Shia Islam, and the father of Aga Khan IV.
A socialite, racehorse owner and jockey, he was the third husband of actress Rita Hayworth. After being passed over for succession as Aga Khan, he served as the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations from 1958 to 1960, where he became a vice president of the General Assembly.
His first name was typically spelled "Aly" in the press. The titles of prince and princess, which are claimed by children of the Aga Khan by virtue of their descent from the Qajar king Fath Ali Shah of the Iranian (Persian) Qajar dynasty, were recognized as courtesy titles by the British government in 1938.
Aly Khan was born in Turin, Italy, the younger son and only surviving child of the Aga Khan III and Cleope Teresa "Ginetta" Magliano. His father was born in Karachi, British India (now in modern-day Pakistan). His mother was an Italian bellerina. Aly Khan was educated by private tutors in India and France during his childhood and later trained in England as a lawyer.
1936: First marriage
Aly Khan married his first wife the Hon. Joan Barbara Guinness (née Yarde-Buller, 1908–1997). She was the former wife of Group Captain Thomas Loel Guinness, a member of Parliament, and a daughter of the 3rd Baron Churston. The wedding took place in Paris on 18 May 1936, a few days after Joan Guinness's divorce became absolute. Before the wedding, the bride converted to Islam and took the name Tajuddawlah.
The couple were married by civil ceremony in May 1936 and they divorced in 1949, partly due to Aly's extramarital affairs with other women, in particular Pamela Churchill.
In 1939, Prince Aly Aga Khan joined the French Foreign Legion and served with its cavalry division in Egypt and the Middle East. In 1940, he joined the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, becoming a lieutenant colonel in 1944. That same year, he participated in the Allied landing in the south of France with the United States Seventh Army, serving as a liaison officer with the rank of captain; for this, he was made an officer in the Legion of Honor in 1950.
He also was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the United States Bronze Star Medal.
Prince Aly Khan was installed as the 1st Colonel of the Regiment of the newly raised 4 Cavalry Regiment (1 November 1956), Pakistani Army in a military ceremony during 1957 and he retained this honor until his death.
1949: second marriage
On 27 May (civil) and 28 May (religious) 1949, in Cannes, France, Aly Khan married American film star Rita Hayworth, who left her film career to marry him.
On 2 September 1951, Hayworth filed for divorce from Khan on the grounds of "extreme cruelty, entirely mental in nature." And they divorced in 1953.
While still married to Rita Hayworth, Khan began a relationship with American film and stage actress Gene Tierney. After about a year, Tierney separated from the Prince and moved back to the United States to tend to her mental health.
On 12 May 1960, a little more than two years after his appointment as Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN, Aly Khan sustained massive head injuries in an automobile accident in Suresnes, France, a suburb of Paris, when the car he was driving collided with another vehicle at the intersection of boulevard Henri Sellier and rue du Mont Valerien, while he and his pregnant fiancée, Bettina, were heading to a party. He died shortly afterward at Foch Hospital in Suresnes.
Aly Khan was first buried on the grounds of Château de l'Horizon, his home in the south of France, where it was intended that he would remain until a mausoleum was built for him in Syria. His remains were removed to Damascus, Syria, on 11 July 1972, and he was reinterred in Salamiyah, Syria.