Girl Crush: The Duchess of Alba

January 13, 2011 in Fashion, Personalities by alliemcc

duchess of alba vanity fair

One of Vanity Fair's 2010 International Best Dressed: "the list is about individual taste, not fashion trends"

— thank goodness.


duchess at wedding of rafael medina and laura vecino

Full name: María del Rosario Cayetana Paloma Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Fernanda Teresa Francisca de Paula Lourdes Antonia Josefa Fausta Rita Castor Dorotea Santa Esperanza Fitz-James Stuart, Silva, Falcó y Gurtubay (according to Wikipedia)

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Descendant of Goya's Duchess of Alba, the Naked/Clothed Maja.  (I really need some portraits of my gorgeous ancestresses…)

goya duchess of alba


alba print by gary kelley


Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva was born in the Liria Palace in Madrid. The palace houses Francisco de Goya's full-length portrait of Cayetana's ancestor, The Duchess of Alba, reputed to have been his lover and model for his masterworks, The Clothed Maja and The Naked Maja.

A dazzling beauty in her youth, possessor of 44 noble titles and 150 hereditary ones, today's duchess is renowned for her forthright character, forged during a high-rolling spell in England in the Second World War where her father, the 17th Duke, was Spanish ambassador in London.

Via the Independent.

young duchess of alba

A few of her 1947 wedding pictures are here.  She has outlived her 2 husbands, and her most recent marital aspiration is vehemently opposed by her children and the king of Spain.

duquesa de alba

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Not too much to say about this particular Girl– she's a Crush more for sheer fabulosity than substance. Vanity Fair's list brought her to my attention. You've got to respect the ovarios it takes to put together these outfits, and keep going at 84 years old.  She's definitely one for the Advanced Style Hall of Fame.  I love her recent mix of traditional Spanish headdress with print dresses and colorful handbags.

If you have any inspiring quotes from her, please share!

(All photos are linked to their original sources, where available.  I do not take credit for any images in this post.)

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