In Review: Marella Agnelli, The Last Swan

3.11.14

Henry Clarke/Vogue © Condé Nast Publications
Marella Agnelli is perhaps one of the greatest tastemakers, and The Last Swan chronicles her life through many personal memoirs and anedoctes, as well as providing an unprecedented tour through many of her glorious homes and gardens.

Marella and Gianni at the Black and White Ball,1966, Ray Scott Morrison
Nicknamed “The Swan” by Richard Avedon when he photographed her iconic portraits in 1953, Marella Agnelli  was not only one of the great beauties of the last century, but also the most elegant and cultured of that exclusive club which famously included Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness, Slim Keith and C.Z. Guest among others.

Villa Frescot by Oberto Gili
Born the Neapolitan princess Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto, she became Marella Agnelli in 1953 upon her marriage to Gianni Agnelli, the Fiat industrialist. However, the innate style for which she is internationally revered  dates back to her New York internship with photographer Erwin Blumenfeld, and her time as a Vogue contributor in the 1950s and 60s, when she also appeared in its pages. One of the most photographed women of jet-set society, Marella was captured not only by Avedon, but Irving Penn, Henry Clarke, Horst, and Robert Doisneau.

Marella at Villa Bona, 1969, Ugo Mulas.
I've always been particularly interested in Agnelli's relationship with Jacqueline Kennedy, and it is great to see this addressed in the book. Simply put, this book is perfect for any individual interested in fashion, high society and glorious homes, and it deserves a place in your library!

Purchase The Last Swan here.
Villa Frescot by Oberto Gili
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