The Honorable Daisy Fellowes was born in Paris on April 29th 1890, under the name Marguerite Séverine Philippine Decazes de Glücksberg. She was the child of Isabelle-Blanche Singer and the 3rd Duc Decazes, making Daisy the heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune. She married Prince Jean de Broglie in 1910, with whom she had three daughters, Princesses Emmeline, Isabelle and Jacqueline. However, her journey to becoming a cafe society darling truly began after marrying Reginald Fellowes in 1919.
Her talent for dressing and setting trends gained her a position as the Paris fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar between 1933 and 1935. Fellowes favored detail and function in her clothing, requiring working pockets in her dresses. When she found a garment she liked, she would order it in several colours. Chanel’s simplistic, streamlined designs were paired with oversized “barbaric jewels—handcuffs of emeralds, necklets of Indian stones, or conch shells of diamonds. She even wore jewelry with her beach suits.” Karl Lagerfeld has crowned Daisy Fellowes as, “The chicest woman I ever laid eyes on.”
Her minimal, rather French approach to style has timeless appeal. Cecil Beaton described the effect of her style, saying: “Daisy Fellowes enjoyed making other women appear foolish, and would wear plain linen dresses when everyone else was dressed to kill.” Her stylish reputation and excellent taste made her a favourite client of Elsa Schiaparelli, alongside Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor. Fellowes was the first to wear the Salvador Dali Shoe Hat, which Dali sketched for Schiaparelli in 1937. Schiaparelli also credited a Cartier diamond owned by Daisy, for the famous shade of “Schiaparelli pink”. The jewel’s colour was “bright, impossible, impudent, becoming, life-giving, like all the light and the birds and the fish in the world but together, a colour of China and Peru but not of the West – a shocking colour, pure and undiluted.”
Fellowes was fond of commissioning couture pieces, such as a bold Cartier collar of rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds, known as the Tutti Frutti necklace. Even in her 70s, a style icon to the last, Fellowes commissioned a Somali panther coat by Givenchy.
The icon enjoying writing and poetry, with Les dimanches de la comtess de Narbonne and Cats in the Isle of Man as her best known works. As well as her creative pursuits and acclaimed eye for style, she was also a great beauty. Diana Vreeland remarked, “She has the elegance of the damned. When I speak about her, I am speaking of those extraordinary eyes, the roundness of her cheeks and the aliveness and glow of the face…that face!”