Muses

Natalie Paley (1905 - 1981)

A member of the Romanov family, Natalie Paley who was born in Boulogne, France, returned to Russia with her family in 1912 and violently lived the Bolchevik Revolution, facing the murders of her brother and father and being raped before managing to escape with her mother and sisters in 1918. Settled in Paris, Natalie Paley developed what would be her lifelong mood: a melancholic, eccentric and icy personality. In 1926, the Russian princess met Lucien Lelong who engaged her in his famous couture house and soon married her although he was distant and famous for his homosexual affairs but the situation perfectly suited Natalie Paley who, traumatized by the Russian Revolution and her rape, never appreciated intimate sexual relationships. The beautiful, graceful and elegant muse of the Lelong house promptly dictated her own fashion trends, gracing the pages of Vogue magazine through the lenses of her time's most important photographers. Searching for platonic affairs, Natalie Paley was most often attracted to homosexuals such as Serge Lifar and Jean Cocteau who, to increase his glory, exaggerated their story. To escape France and the ridicule rumours surrounding her after her divorce from Lucien Lelong, in 1937, she began a short film career and moved to New York where she married another reputable homosexual, John Chapman and worked for Mainbocher. Surely the most beautiful love story of her life was with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, yet another spiritual affair made of stunning letters.

Tags / Natalie Paley - Russian Princess - 1930s - Muses - It Women - Sad - Romantic - Fashion
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, photogaphed by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1930
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, photogaphed by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1930
Natalie Paley as Christiane in The New Men directed by Marcel L'Herbier, 1936
Natalie Paley as Christiane in The New Men directed by Marcel L'Herbier, 1936
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1930
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1930
Natalie Paley, 1937
Natalie Paley, 1937
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley by Man Ray, 1934
Natalie Paley by Man Ray, 1934
Natalie Paley by Louise Dahl-Wolfe for Vogue, 1944
Natalie Paley by Louise Dahl-Wolfe for Vogue, 1944
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, photographed by Cecil Beaton, 1930s
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, photographed by Cecil Beaton, 1930s
Natalie Paley as Baroness Cassini and Maurice Chevalier as Eugene Charlier in L'Homme des Folies Bergère directed by Marcel Achard and Roy Del Ruth, 1935
Natalie Paley as Baroness Cassini and Maurice Chevalier as Eugene Charlier in L'Homme des Folies Bergère directed by Marcel Achard and Roy Del Ruth, 1935
Natalie Paley by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1933
Natalie Paley by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1933
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1930
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1930
Natalie Paley by George Platt Lynes, ca. 1940
Natalie Paley by George Platt Lynes, ca. 1940
Serge Lifar, Nicolas de Gunzburg and Natalie Paley, 1931
Serge Lifar, Nicolas de Gunzburg and Natalie Paley, 1931
Natalie Paley and Baba d’Erlanger, 1931
Natalie Paley and Baba d’Erlanger, 1931
Natalie Paley by George Hoyningen-Huene- Natalie Paley, 1933
Natalie Paley by George Hoyningen-Huene- Natalie Paley, 1933
Natalie Paley, 1933
Natalie Paley, 1933
Natalie Paley by Horst P. Hors, 1930s
Natalie Paley by Horst P. Hors, 1930s
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, photographed by Edward Steichen, 1935
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, photographed by Edward Steichen, 1935
Natalie Paley by Man Ray, 1938
Natalie Paley by Man Ray, 1938
Natalie Paley by George Hoyningen-Huene for Harper's Bazaar, 1941
Natalie Paley by George Hoyningen-Huene for Harper's Bazaar, 1941
Lucien Lelongs and Natalie Paley, late 1920s
Lucien Lelongs and Natalie Paley, late 1920s
Natalie Paley (uncredited), Brian Aherne as Michael Fane and Katharine Hepburne as Sylvia Scarlett in Sylvia Scarlett directed by George Cukor, 1935
Natalie Paley (uncredited), Brian Aherne as Michael Fane and Katharine Hepburne as Sylvia Scarlett in Sylvia Scarlett directed by George Cukor, 1935
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, 1930s
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, 1930s
Natalie Paley by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1931
Natalie Paley by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1931
Natalie Paley by Horst P. Hors, 1930s
Natalie Paley by Horst P. Hors, 1930s
Natalie Paley as Christiane in The New Men directed by Marcel L'Herbier, 1936
Natalie Paley as Christiane in The New Men directed by Marcel L'Herbier, 1936
Olivier Messel, Princess Natalia Pavlovna Paley with Lilies, ca. 1935, oil on canvas, 74.5 x 61.5 cm
Olivier Messel, Princess Natalia Pavlovna Paley with Lilies, ca. 1935, oil on canvas, 74.5 x 61.5 cm
Natalie Paley, 1933
Natalie Paley, 1933
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, photographed by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1933
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, photographed by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1933
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1935
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1935
Natalie Paley as Christiane in The New Men directed by Marcel L'Herbier, 1936
Natalie Paley as Christiane in The New Men directed by Marcel L'Herbier, 1936
Natalie Paley, Drawing by Cecil Beaton, 1940
Natalie Paley, Drawing by Cecil Beaton, 1940
Natalie Paley and Irina Paley, 1910s
Natalie Paley and Irina Paley, 1910s
Nicolas de Gunzburg and Natalie Paley, 1930s
Nicolas de Gunzburg and Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, 1930s
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, 1930s
Natalie Paley wearing sandals by Shoecraft, photographed by Edward Steichen, 1934
Natalie Paley wearing sandals by Shoecraft, photographed by Edward Steichen, 1934
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, photographed by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1931
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, photographed by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1931
Princess Olga Paley, her eldest son Alexander Erikovich von Pistohlkors, Olga Erikovna von Pistohlkors, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia, Princess Irina Paley, Princess Natalia Paley, Prince Vladimir Paley, and Marianne Pistohlkors, ca. 1914
Princess Olga Paley, her eldest son Alexander Erikovich von Pistohlkors, Olga Erikovna von Pistohlkors, Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia, Princess Irina Paley, Princess Natalia Paley, Prince Vladimir Paley, and Marianne Pistohlkors, ca. 1914
Natalie Paley by Powel for Femina, 1926
Natalie Paley by Powel for Femina, 1926
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1930
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1930
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1930
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1930
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley as the Jealous Husband's Poor Wife in The Private Life of Don Juan directed by Alexander Korda, 1934
Natalie Paley as the Jealous Husband's Poor Wife in The Private Life of Don Juan directed by Alexander Korda, 1934
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1931
Natalie Paley by Cecil Beaton, 1931
Natalie Paley by George Hoyningen-Huene, ca. 1933
Natalie Paley by George Hoyningen-Huene, ca. 1933
Natalie Paley as Christiane in The New Men directed by Marcel L'Herbier, 1936
Natalie Paley as Christiane in The New Men directed by Marcel L'Herbier, 1936
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, 1929
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, 1929
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, 1929
Natalie Paley wearing Lucien Lelong, 1929
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Katharine Hepburne as Sylvia Scarlett and Natalie Paley (uncredited) in Sylvia Scarlett directed by George Cukor, 1935
Katharine Hepburne as Sylvia Scarlett and Natalie Paley (uncredited) in Sylvia Scarlett directed by George Cukor, 1935
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
Natalie Paley, 1930s
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