Style Icons: Female »Cleo de Merode

Belle Epoque Dancer

As one of France’s most beloved dancers, Cleo de Merode caught the eye of artists (Gustav Klimt) and kings (Leopold II), the latter of which resulted in scandalous rumours that haunted her throughout her life despite the lurid tales of an affair being wholly untrue.

She gained even more admiration from a wider audience when she joined the Folies Bergere. Here’s a link to a 1897 article about her stateside arrival which describes her actual upbringing as much more humble than the royal background she claimed . I find her beguiling and the fashions she dons in her many portraits to be inspiring and beautiful. There are many to gaze at below/after the jump.

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Posted on March 14, 2010

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