She was a spectacularly goodlooking and stylish woman. Beauty was her life. Different from today's celebrities, she was stylish for style's sake, not to draw attention to herself. (She was extraordinarily shy!)
Although many things about her appear faddish, even obsessed, - and no doubt she was a deeply troubled, neurotic woman - what remains is the sheer delight at a beautiful human work of art.
The Peak of Chic discusses briefly at her wonderful blog the appropriateness of the Duke and the Duchess of Windsor as style icons:
I know that they were certainly a controversial couple, but it can't be denied that they were quite stylish.They were indeed. The reason why I will refrain from making them a subject of my discussions from now on is the fact that they were seriously evil (sorry for the naive-sounding epithet, but that's what they simply were) and I just don't like to research anything about them because I plainly hate to look at their mugs. That is, however, a matter of personal taste and I can understand that others have a higher or entirely different repulsion threshold.
The good thing is that I won't be caught in such a predicament all that often. Somehow it doesn't seem to be easy to find evil people who might be, by any definition, described as "stylish". Hitler? Or all other Nazi-celebrities, for that? The very epitome of lower-middleclassness! Stalin? All the many flashily uniformed second- or third -rate dictators hung with glitzy decorations? Right now, I can't even think of other sub-prime evil people, like the Windsors, who are stylish, very probably Diana Mosley was, which would lead to the question whether the English upper classes are able to produce people who are evil, yet stylish. Oh my God! A can of big fat worms!
However, style, as I see it, is a bit more than the thin veneer that meets the eye at first glance and I intend to discuss its many fascinating manifestations, of which clothes and interior decoration are just two.
Update March 2018:
As I have totally re-styled this blog and changed the header, here is the Piloty-painting of the young Elisabeth (later of Austria).