THE BELLE EPOQUE
OF THE COURTESANS
From the 20th of August to the 18th of September 2016
The association AIDA has invited the Fashion Designer and Artist Elizabeth Wessel to express her vision of an era when the combination of beauty and wit composed the ultimate feminine ideal.
With her experience of the world of Haute Couture and her great knowledge of History of Fashion, Elizabeth Wessel has chosen to evoke these beautiful courtesans, center of the mundane and cultural life at the time.
During this time when fashion houses were just invented, Charles Frederick Worth, Jacques Doucet and other couturiers presented every season for the first time in history their newly created collections. These adventuresses with their glamorous attire were as much muses inspiring the ladies of the World as seducing the most prominent gentlemen with their physical charm and their sparkly wit.
Even if many came from humble backgrounds, they all knew how to cultivate their appearance, thus becoming real celebrities and were received in the highest society.
They were called La Belle Otero, Liane de Pougy, Mata Hari, Cléo de Mérode, Emilienne d’Alençon, Valtesse de la Bigne, La Païva, Clémence de Pibrac and Cora Pearl…They were French, Spanish, Russian, Dutch or English…They travelled between the capitals of Europe and the Côte d’Azur following the mundane calendar of an era when the sweetness of life and frivolity mixed with panache.
With 10 paintings, Elizabeth Wessel takes us through the turmoil of the life of these sublime courtesans who knew how to dazzle their contemporary and make them dream.
After an inauguration reserved to the guests of the Ball of Baroness Beatrice in the gardens of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, the exhibition “ The Belle Epoque of the Courtesans” by Elizabeth Wessel will be open to the public from the 20th of August to the 19th of September, shown in the particularly favorable setting of the Grand Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel.