Some of the most influential women in the world of Haute joaillerie (fine jewellery) were the famous courtesans of Paris, the mistresses of the powerful in the early 20th century. It would be a misconception to perceive these women as just mistresses of the rich and famous of the time. In truth, many of them went on to influence fashion, jewellery, art and culture. They lived flamboyant and extravagant lifestyles for the time, but, most importantly, they empowered women on an unprecedented level. Two of these courtesans had a famous rivalry. Liane de Pougy and La Belle Otero were from very different backgrounds, but they both shared a desire to escape their origins. La Belle Otero became such an icon of the Belle Époque. Born in Spain in 1868 as…
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