Maria Eristova, Princess Eristavi
Maria Eristova was the woman, whose beauty had become a legend of the twentieth century.
Supermodels today receive fabulous fees. Thank the Russians! It was the Russian beautiful emigrants of the early twentieth century that transformed the work of the model from slave labor into a prestigious and highly paid occupation.
After the turbulent upheavals of the early twentieth century, Europe began to recover. In Paris, which lost a huge number of men in the First World War, there were many noble emigrants from revolutionary Russia. Rich Americans came there for fashion and were willing to spend a lot of money on it. Russian aristocrats became models for Parisian fashion houses. They showed their clothes not only in the Fashion Houses, but also at social events, becoming the faces of brands. Russian beauty, aristocratic education, charm and the ability to present themselves brought a huge income to French fashion houses.
Princess Maria Prokofievna Eristova-Shervashidze will forever remain in memory as one of the most beautiful women of the twentieth century. She was the muse of the artist Saveliy Sorin and the famous Georgian poet Galaktion Tabidze. Princess Mary always, even in very old age, was surrounded by admirers.
Maria (nee Shervashidze) was born on October 17, 1895 in Batumi (Georgia). But she lived in St. Petersburg, where pretty girl became a lady in waiting of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia. Maria was a prominent Georgian aristocrat, fashion icon, catwalk queen, and one of the earliest models of Coco Chanel.
You know, she was popular for her beauty and gentle complexion and even drew compliments from Emperor Nicholas II of Russia.
Maria’s father was a Georgian prince Prokof Shervashidze. After the revolution and her father’s death Mary went to the Caucasus, where she married Prince Lancer Gigushu Eristov. Then Mary went to Paris. In 1925, the beautiful girl was invited to work with Coco Chanel, an increasingly popular French designer at the time.
According to legend, the portrait of the princess was in the bedroom of Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly.
Despite the success as a model, Mary perceived this work as humiliation. After the parquet of the Winter Palace, walking along the catwalk seemed to her beneath her dignity. Therefore, at the first opportunity, the princess left the fashion world. And even after a while, she did not like to remember her modeling experience.
Her beloved husband died in 1946. She was depressed. And in the final years of her life she was forced to move to a nursing home.
She died in France at the age of 98. Until the very last day, Princess Mary remained an icon of style. She came to this world, just like she left it: full of self-respect, with her head raised proudly and with a confident walk.