a love affair with a Grand Duke?

I found an interesting info about Lantelme in the book Never a Dull Moment by some Marguerite Cassini. It’s the memoirs of a countess about belle epoque aristocracy. When she wrote the book (1956), she was 74 years so some details can be incorrect. For example she calls Edwards an American, and she writes Lantelme’s name as Lanthelme.

The actress is mentioned only twice, but both times the details are very interesting.

“The Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, for example, dashed often to Paris, where she would be seen with her friend Lucien Guitry, the great actor of the Comedie-Francaise, while her husband, the Grand Duke Vladimir, would try to avoid seeing her, mostly with Lanthelme, the ravishing brunette doll who was the rage of Paris”.

The Grand Duke Vladimir was third son of the emperor Alexander II, born in 1847 and died in 1909.  Brief info about him on wikipedia site, more info in Russian with more photos on the same site. For example, see a photo of him here.

Also Cassini wrote:

“And there was Lanthelme whom I sometimes saw at Callot, where she dressed. She wore her gowns only once, returned them the next day, torn and soiled, and the vendeuses would show them around. Lanthelme, born in the gutter, was one of the first of her kind to marry — an American named Edwards who owned the Paris newspaper Le Matin. She became even richer than her husband and died mysteriosly, thrown overboard from her yacht — according to the inquest “by hands unknown” “.

I didn’t know that Lantelme had been a Callot client; I know after she met Edwards and could choose dresses (and dressmakers too), she was a client of Doucet, also of Paquin, Lanvin, Jean Patou and Madeleine Vionnet. If someone has a photo of Lantelme in a Callot dress, please let me know.

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Lystra ad

Genevieve Lantelme in Lystra ad. Comoedia Illustre, 15 June 1910. File found on Gallica site (http://gallica.bnf.fr)

On phis photo she is wearing Lanvin pink and white dress and a hat by Carlier (see other photos with tags Lanvin, Carlier).

If someone can provide a better quality scan of this photo and/or page, please contact me in comments.

Lantelme photo

Very nice photo of Genevieve Lantelme, – pity it’s not coloured. Scan from Le Theatre # 197, 1 March 1907.

Colette about Lantelme (2)

Lantelme’s name is also cited at least twice in Colette books, and both times her hats are mentioned.

Mes étranges amis ne parlaient pas des femmes, sinon de haut, de loin : “C’est joli, ce perlage blanc sur blanc, que Bady porte au troisième acte” ; “Ah! ces énormes chapeaux de Lantelme, assez, assez! Qu’elle les lotisse!”  (Le Pur et l’Impur)

Avant la crise de rétrécissement de nos chapeaux, je me souviens qu’à un bal
tropézien c’est grâce à un lot de chapeaux minuscules que Jeanne Duc, alors aubergiste, obtint les plus grands effets d’extravagance. Elle ne les eût pas rencontrés en ressuscitant les châteaux immenses, les étages superposés de plumes sous lesquels brillaient les yeux languissants de Lantelme. (De ma fenetre)

Colette about Lantelme

Des yeux trop grands, trop beaux, une bouche ravissante qui semblait retenir une envie de pleurer, le gracieux menton, un peu effacé, des faibles – c’est tout ce que livrait, de Geneviève Lantelme, l’ombre de ses chapeaux qu’elle voulait, comme par gageure, immenses, chargés de panaches d’autruche.
Combien de temps, combien de fois cette beauté plaintive vit-elle la rampe ? Quand on songe à la brièveté de sa vie et de sa carrière, on s’étonne que le nom de Lantelme vive parmi nous. Accablée de fourrures, de plumes, de dentelles, le col chargé de colliers, Lantelme n’était qu’un visage. (Colette. Cahiers Colette. )

a lady in crinoline

Genevieve Lantelme in La Savelli, a drama about Napoleon III, where she played a little role of madame Durand. Scan from Le Theatre # 195, 1 February 1907.

The dress is very beautiful and the actress looks nice, but I think Lantelme didn’t like to put on old fashioned clothes. When Lantelme had at last the right to choose, she preferred to play in modern comedies, and there’s not too much photos of her in 19th or 18th century style dresses.

hats in 1911

Genevieve Lantelme in hats by Odette. Scan from Comoedia Illustre , 1 April 1911.

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