Born April 29th, 1890 in Paris, Daisy Fellowes was the daughter of a French duke and heiress to the Singer sewing-machine fortune. A long celebrated society figure, Fellowes was known for her unique beauty and fashions, and gifted with wealth. During her second marriage to banker Reginald Fellowes she became the “goddess” of Cafe Society. Today – she is still remembered as an international style diva whose fashion status made her the Paris editor of American Harper’s Bazaar.
Fellowes is known as “one of the most daring fashion plates of the 20th century,” and an important patron of couturier Elsa Schiaparelli. For Schiaparelli, Fellowes was more than a major client, she was also a muse, and the perfect partner in crime - for she who enjoyed designing the daring and she who enjoyed wearing the daring.
Below: Daisy Fellowes in Schiaparelli
Cecil Beaton described her: “Daisy Fellowes enjoyed making other women appear foolish, and would wear plain linen dresses when everyone else was dressed to kill. These linen suits, though simple in tailoring and often of identical shape, were ordered in dozens of different colours and complemented by barbaric jewels – handcuffs of emeralds, necklets of Indian stones, or conch shells of diamonds. She even wore jewelry with her beach suits.”
In her book Allure, Diana Vreeland noted, “There’s an awfully chic comment, “somebody said to the devil - I like your style” – that was Daisy. She had the elegance of the damned. When I speak about her, I’m speaking of those extraordinary eyes, the roundness of her cheeks and the aliveness and glow of the face…that face!”
Above: At Donnington Grove, her estate in Oxfordshire, England, British Vogue, circa 1955
Fellowes also owned an estate in Oxfordshire, England with a beautiful garden. There, low box hedges enclosed masses of colorful flowers.
In a 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, Karl Lagerfeld channeled the late fashionista. In the editorial, he described her as “the most stylish and wicked woman in fashion.” The article, by David Vincent, goes on to say “Daisy Fellowes wasn’t born a beauty, but she reinvented herself as a fashion icon.”
And so, Daisy Fellowes lives on…