There are well-documented muses like Audrey Hepburn and Twiggy that have stood the test of time, but history has forgotten many others. In this unique feature, Savoir Flair investigates five muses whose eternal, iconic style should be remembered because of the influence they each had on fashion today. From “The Elizabeth Taylor of the Middle East” to an Italian heiress who is still name-checked by designers like Dries Van Noten, our style file on these five muses will intrigue and captivate you. Not only can you find out more about their amazing lives, you can also shop galleries inspired by each of them.
Nina Rindt is so unknown that she doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, but this Finnish model and wife of late Formula One racing driver Jochen Rindt was the quintessential 1960s style icon. Although she was born in Finland, she relocated to London in the 1960s where she met up with the rest of the Swingin’ London set, including her BFF Twiggy. Unfortunately, Rindt’s time in the spotlight was short-lived, comprising only a three-year run between her marriage to Rindt in 1967 and his tragic death in 1970. However, her ease with preppy looks, tomboyish outfits and mod styles made her a fashion icon. She favored short embroidered sheath dresses, newsboys caps, polo shirts, mini skirts, ringer tees, and brightly colored fedoras. Her look was completely original, but forged the path for similar boy-meets-girl finery found later in icons like Jane Birkin and Lou Doillon.
Today she would have shopped at Marni, Tommy Hilfiger, and Topshop.
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Marchesa Luisa Casati
Of all of the wealthy eccentrics to pass through the hallowed halls of fashion history, there were none as decadent as socialite Marchesa Luisa Casati. She was known for her dramatic style of dress which pushed the envelope of the glitzy and the macabre. She was also a patron of the Ballets Russes, kept pet cheetahs, held legendary parties at Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on Grand Canal in Venice, decorated her hair with feathers, and was considered a driving force behind 20th century haute couture who put designers like Paul Poiret and Mariano Fortuny on the map. Her influence is felt even today, as brands from Dries Van Noten to Taller Marmo have name-checked her in their collections. Marchesa, the high-end eveningwear label founded by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, is actually named after Casati.
Casati was known for her gilded clothing, sweeping monochrome gowns, lavish headpieces, and adoration of black eyeliner.
Today she would have shopped at Maison Martin Margiela, Alexander McQueen, and Iris Van Herpen.
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Marisa Berenson, the granddaughter of fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, was such a prominent and influential model that she once earned the title “The Girl of the Seventies” from Yves Saint Laurent. In fact, her modeling career was so lucrative that she once confessed to The New York Times, “I once was one of the highest paid models in the world.” Berenson was always at the right place at the right time, and popped up everywhere from the inner circle of The Beatles to the “It” crowd at Andy Warhol’s Factory. She embodied the styles of the era with a haute hippie aesthetic, and favored huge round sunglasses, paisley hair scarves, flared trousers, and glittery disco dresses.
Today she would have shopped at Etro, Prada, and Sonia Rykiel.
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Nancy "Slim" Keith
Nancy “Slim” Keith, the enigmatic socialite who ran with Truman Capote & Co., was the picture of the 1940s and 1950s. Dubbed “the All-American Girl”, Keith was no stranger to the fashion crowd, but Keith also used her connections to make Hollywood magic. It was Keith who discovered Lauren Bacall and had her cast in the film To Have and Have Not. Her other adventures were chronicled in the fascinating autobiography Slim: Memories of a Rich and Imperfect Life. While others chased glittering ball gowns, Keith was more comfortable in plaid pedal-pushers, boxy jackets, and other classic sportswear looks.
Today she would have shopped at Comme des Garcons, Céline, and Hermès.
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Iranian actor Irene Zazians – also knowns as “Iren of Iran” and “The Elizabeth Taylor of the Middle East” – was a daring trendsetter in her own right. Not only was she the first actor to ever wear a bikini on film, but she was also at the center of the Iranian new wave movement, working with directors like Masoud Kimiyayi and Samuel Khachikian. Her filmography spans 50 years, from 1958 to 2008, and she continued to fight against censorship until her death at the age of 85. She is known for her ladylike attire on-screen, and her iconic style is described as a mix of both classic and on-trend looks.
Today she would have shopped at Elie Saab, Dior, and Madiyah Al Sharqi.
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