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Poiret costume for the Marchesa Casati.The Marchesa Casati, a Venetian noblewoman who died in 1957, famously said, "I want to be a living work of art." She wore elaborate gowns by Paul Poiret and Léon Bakst with Lalique jewelry and live snakes, and was sometimes accompanied by cheetahs on diamond leashes.

Poiret costume for the Marchesa Casati.The Marchesa Casati, a Venetian noblewoman who died in 1957, famously said, "I want to be a living work of art." She wore elaborate gowns by Paul Poiret and Léon Bakst with Lalique jewelry and live snakes, and was sometimes accompanied by cheetahs on diamond leashes.

La Marchesa Luisa Casati with her pet panthers who inspired Cartier's  famous Panther design | House of Beccaria~

La Marchesa Luisa Casati with her pet panthers who inspired Cartier's famous Panther design | House of Beccaria~

Marchesa Luisa Casati Her life goal was to "be a living work of art," and Casati definitely gave it her all—the Italian heiress could often be found strolling around her Venetian neighborhood with one of her pet cheetahs in tow.

Marchesa Luisa Casati Her life goal was to "be a living work of art," and Casati definitely gave it her all—the Italian heiress could often be found strolling around her Venetian neighborhood with one of her pet cheetahs in tow.

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