The jewels witness of the most touching love story in the Renaissance: Margherita Luti

According to the legend, Raffaello Sanzio, known as Raphael, fell in love with Margherita Luti while she was washing her feet under the Tiber river. The love he felt was so appasionate that he couldn’t concéntrate while he finished an order from the reach banker Agostino Chigi. The client was so desperate that finally he moved Margherita into a house close to Raphael, in order to let him finish his work.

And then he painted Margherita… And in both paintings appear the Historic Jewels I want to talk you about today: In the impressive “La Veleta” and “La Fornarina”

“La Veleta” was made in 1516 and Margherita poses wearing rich clothes and a veil in silk (apparently) and over her hair she wears an appealing ornament with a pearl and a ruby. It’s almost stuck to her careless hair (a proof of her adulterous life). This piece is very similar to the one whe also wears in “La Fornarina”, under a turban this time (a common accesory by the time). I’d say both jewels are the same.


And here I bring them both to you: One over a thin chiffon and the other one over a rich silk brocade.

But let’s digg deeper into the amazing life Margherita had and the touching love story between she and Raphael…

In 1514 Raphael got engaged with Maria Bibbiena, Cardinal Medici Bibbiena’s niece. But this marriage never was consummated. His mind and heart were with his true love: Margherita Luti, “La Fornarina”. Margherita was Francesco Luti’s daughter, the owner of the bakery Fornaio de Siena. Her humble condition stopped the family from marrying Margherita to Raphael, a very recognized artist in the time. So she had to resign herlself with being his lover.

It’s possible the most reliable proof of this romance was the painting “La Fornarina”, where Margherita poses half naked only covered by a soft and thin silk, holding a breast with her right hand. According to the history, this painting was hidden in his studio and only a few knew about its existance.


Like in the good love stories, this one between Raphael and La Fornarina had a sad engind. After a night together, he fell ill and died 15 days after. The artist left enough money to Margherita to finish her days without any trouble. However her plans were different. The pain was such that she joined the Convent Santa Apolonia in Santa Dorotea where she lived the rest on her life. She never touched the fortune Raphael had left her.

This is one of the most beautiful love stories in Rome during the Renaissance, linked to a jewel that already is in our Historic Jewels Collection.



@María Vintage Photography



Frida Kahlo: Icon of strength against life adversities

She knew how to recover after a tragic accident that marked her life as a teenager. Back then many people started admiring her because of her bravery. However, the Mexican artista Fidra Kahlo (1907-1954) was much more than just a fighter. Nowadays she’s considered one of the most relevant women over the last century.

She was interesting, close and extremely independent. She actually was the pioneer about women emancipation. For many years people only saw in her the partner of a great Mexican muralist, the painter Diego Rivera, but her over 200 works have left a deep track in her contemporary colleagues as well as following generations.


Her wish of independency, far from Diego Rivera both economically and professionally, is the reflection of her innate artist heart. Of course Rivera and his way of understanding art influenced Frida, but studies showed that without him, she would have succeeded the same way.

Frida had a complicated life specially marked for that accident that kept her on bed for long periods of time as well as under constant surgeries. Her need of analyze herself through her art also was a way of over complicate things.


She left us before she was 50 years old, but the life that hit her also allowed her to enjoy really intense relationships – mainly sentimental- and also let her be witness of one of the most relevant cultural and political times in History.

She shared experiences with Picasso, André Breton or even Trotski. All of them admired her because of her magnetism. She was photographed many times accompanied by the pets she truly loved and wearing her well-known native costume. She used to show that way her love for Mexico. Her art is nowadays universal and her –strongly biographic- work has been showed in the best museums in the world.


In the 21st century Frida Kahlo is already an icon, not only because of her art though but for her humanity. That is what makes her different from Diego Rivera whose influence always was artistic and political.

Going deeper into Frida’s self-portraits is like read a fascinating biography. The accident where she broke her column in three parts would have finished with the wish of living in most of the cases but she went on. “I tried to drown my pains but they learnt how to swimm”, wrote a woman who rowed against adversity.

Artículo escrito por @Esther Ginés




Merle Oberon and the most photaphed Catier’s necklace

Merle Oberon was the alias of Estelle Merle O’Brien Thompson, a British actress who was born in Tasmania by the beginning of the 20th century. She is the first protagonist of our new section “Collectors of Jewelry of the History”

Merle Oberon was living in India until she was 17, when she moved out to London on the purpose of becoming a successful actress in cinema.

Her better good luck came when the productor and director Alexander Korda found out about her by chance back in 1930. He made her shine as one of the big ladies in British theatres during the 40’s. The ended up getting married and he was one of the first ones who started giving her away really expensive jewelry.


Merle Oberon wearing the necklace that Napoleon Bonaparte gave to Baroness Haussmann.

One of the very first pieces she acquired was an old necklace in diamonds and emeralds that apparently was a gift from Napoleon the Third to the Baroness Haussmann. It’s said that was his way to thank her for the role of her husband in the new and more modern Paris. Thanks to the alterations made in Paris, this city became in just two decades into the most modern capital in the world. Merle worn the piece in movies like The Divorce of Lady X and Of Love And Desire. Later Merle Oberon removed two tears to the necklace in order to make them earrings.

In 1939 after her marriage, Alexandre got her one of the pieces most beautiful in her collection (at least, it is to me): a Cartier’s piece made with three flowered-formed brooches. The one in the middle, the biggest one, has a charming detail on it: the pistils are diamonds with some movement which adds beauty to the whole piece. These brooches were originary designed to be worn as hair clips but Merle preferred to let them be brooches or even cameos. Sadly after she died the three pieces were sold separately.

There’s a curiosity here that you’ll love to know: a few years later, the Princess Elizabeth of England would get a especial wedding gift from the Prince Philip of Greece: a tiara with three identical flower-formed clips designed by Cartier. Elizabeth II removed them to wear them separately and she did so in many occasions.


Merle Oberon wearing the Cartier’s three-flowered clip that was supposed to be a hair clip in the origins. Photocourtesy of Fine Art America

However, the most amazing piece within her collection is a necklace of diamonds and 29 emeralds from the Baroque that Korda gave her in 1939. The piece fitted her very nicely due to her exotic beauty. The necklace has a very original design for the time especially because of the sensual and elegant form the emeralds are linked.

The story of this piece is very curious indeed and show how humans always want badly what others have. It seemed the necklace meant to be acquired by the designer Elsa Schiaparelli. However Merle saw it in a store in Paris and when she asked the seller about it, she was said the piece had another admirer. Merle didn’t believe the man and thought it was a strategy to sell it to her. After a few days she realized the seller was right when she passed by the store and the jewel had gone. Her mysterious rival was in a fitting room trying on the piece.

The day after Merle went back to the shop to see if the necklace was still there and she saw how Elsa Schiaparelli leaving the place. She came back so devastated that her husband went out, straight away to the jeweller’s and after asking for the piece he surprisingly got it. The stunning 29 emerald will shine in her exotic neckline from that moment onwards.

Merle Obedon's Big Jewelry Collectors in History  Vintage By Lopez-Linares (4)

Merle enjoyed that necklace until she died. 

Cartier 1938, 29 stunning Baroque emeralds like tears, linked with platinum and diamonds, 44 cm long and finished in 2,642,500 CHF. This is one of the Cartier’s necklace most photographed ever.

Link to the necklace in the Catalog Antiquorum

Other pieces in her collection:


  • A set of two clips designed by Cartier with flowered diamonds, one with the pistil in diamonds and the other with rubies. They might be worn together of separately. Other option was making a bracelet with them. Merle had this bracelet in the movie Til We Meet Again in 1940.
  •   A brooch with saphires and diamonds by Cartier, also detachable to wear as a clip. The piece was set with an oval saphire and petals in diamonds. The stem (also in diamonds) was sold separately. Merle worn this piece many times, not only the clip but also the brooch as a short necklace. I’m sure Merle loved Cartier’s jewelry and the versality of his work.
  •  By the end of the 50’s and 60’s she acquired and changed a big amount of jewelry. She spent a time living in Rome where she got a Bulgari’s brooch with diamonds and rubies. Bulgari also created for her an elegant bag in a non-conventional design (acorn).
  • Van Cleef&Arpels was other of the preferred Merle’s designers during the 70’s. Among her collection is a set of a brooch, earrings and a necklace with turquoises and diamonds in pink that could be transformed into a brooch and a bracelet.
  •  Merle also had a small but good collection of rubies that included an spectacular necklace by David Webb who also made for her a ring and earrings with a big oval ruby in the center.

Most of these pieces were sold in an auction in New York back in 1980, exactly a year after she passed away.

Merle Oberon had a really beautiful and huge jewelry collection.

Pictures and biography

 “Hollywood Jewels” by Penny Proddow, Debra Healy and Marion Fasel

itial; background-repeat: initial;”>

A Century of Street Style

The fact that the street photo style phenomenon was born with Scott Schuman is like saying this gentelman invented the hot water. “There is no news under the Sun” and the only exception to this proverb is Steve Jobs who is probably pointing at his iPad and smiling at me from somewhere up there…

It’s also popular the saying that the ideas don’t know further onwer than the one who dares to actually make them real. So according to this, we do have to recognize Scott Schuman’s the achievement of getting benefits from an old idea such as the street style. You’ll probably have read enough about this photo discipline and I have no much to add. There are many blogs with an only section dedicated to the style of the streets, which goes much further than the catwalks.

Street Style  photography  Vintage by Lopez-Linares Edward-Linley-Sambourne-Carmen-Velarde (2)

When this style started being famous online, the argument to justify the excessive enthusiasm was to affirm that the designers looked to these pictures in order to find some divine inspiration to create their collections. However, the style has reached such a renown online that now brands use this sort of pictures that seem to be very natural shots, which works as a gold mine to get their online customer’s attention.  We are again admiring an art that imitates life, or life that imitates an art.

The momentum of the street style on blogs has already passed and now it’s turn for magazines that prefer to pay for pictures of around the catwalk rather than the ones of the fashion show. Then in this case protagonists have nothing to do with the original spontaneity of this discipline.

Street Style  photography  Vintage by Lopez-Linares Edward-Linley-Sambourne-Carmen-Velarde (3)

And before I leave you with these wonderful images from the beginning of the 20th century by the photographer and illustrator Edward Linley Sambourne, I’d like to add my point of view about the “egobloggers”, those young girls who love to publish their fashion designs in a blog. I’m convinced they shouldn’t be considered as a part of the street sytle, although they tried once and again to incorporate this word to their post titles.

The especial situation of the real street style is the luck of premeditation, the spontaneous and unexpected shot and definately not in the creation of a “casual activity” wearing a design to show it in a blog. Said that, please, enjoy the following images. Also try to swap the books in their hands with an iPhone or a Blackberry and you’ll realize these trendsetters’ poses have not changed that much along a hundred years.

Street Style  photography  Vintage by Lopez-Linares Edward-Linley-Sambourne-Carmen-Velarde (4)

Photographies | The Library Time Machine

With O: Object d’Art or Bibelot

An “Object of Art” is a small high quality decorative ítem, very valued by collectors. They are pieces often made in reach materials like gold, silver, semiprecious stones, porcelain, mother-of-pearl, coral or enamelwork.

Some of these pieces are made with the only purpose of staying over a display cabinet and being exhibited. Others, however, are made for the personal use of the owner but ended up in a glass cabinet anyway, due to the fineness of the piece or the high value.


The perfect cabinet to be placed on are elevated, to avoid being touched and covered by glass. These kind of cabinets are closed furniture that back in the past were used to keep safe silverware, porcelains or vintage books.

This way these especial pieces can be exhibited to the public in museums or personal houses, so they are protected against damage, dust or inexperienced hands.

The most frequent collections across the world are fans, little boxes or miniatures in porcelain, silver pieces, golden little statues with semiprecious stones and many other distinguish and exquisite pieces worth of being kept safe and well protected.


My Fair Lady

Year: 1964.

Director: George Cukor.


Audrey Hepburn (Eliza Doolittle).

Rex Harrison (Profesor Henry Higgins).

Stanley Holloway (Alfred Doolittle).

Wilfrid Hyde-White (Coronel Pickering).

Gladys Cooper (Sra Higgins).

my-fair-lady-vintage-by-lopez-linares (3)


It won 8 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Sound and Best Music.

It was nominated to four more Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Writing and Best Film Editing.

The movie won many other awards you can check on IMDB website.

my-fair-lady-vintage-by-lopez-linares (2)


  • Despite the efforts made by Audrey Hepburn to nail all the songs, most of them were actually doubled by the singer Marni Nixon, but for a few sentences at the beginning of some of the songs like The Rain in Spain or Just you Wait, Henry Higgins”. Later, Audrey admitted she wouldn’t have taken the role if she would’ve known she was to be doubled. She didn’t appear in a musical again unless she was ensured she wouldn’t be doubled.
  • Because of the way Rex Harrison used to sing, it wasn’t possible to shoot the voice and double it later. He was the first actor at carrying a wireless microphone under his tie.
  • According to some biographies, Rex Harrison sang I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face thinking of his ex-wife Kay Kendall who had died a few years before.
  • Audrey Hepburn was performing a role of a 19 years old young lady, when she was already 35.
  • Jack Warner didn’t want Harrison to do the role of professor Higgins, since he was too old. He actually wanted Peter O’Toole in that role, but this actor asked for an astronomic pay.

my-fair-lady-vintage-by-lopez-linares (8)

  • Rex Harrison dedicated the Oscar to his “two fair ladies”, Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews, who had worked with him (with Audrey in this movie and with Julie in Broadway).
  • Audrey Hepburn always thought Julie Andrews should have done the role of Eliza. The only reason Julie didn’t do it was because the Director Jack Warner didn’t want her to. The actual reasons are not cleared yet. Walt Disney was ready to delay Mary Poppins shooting if Julie Andrews was accepted for My Fair Lady.
  • It seems the third actress in the list for the role was Elizabeth Taylor, who wanted it very badly.
  • Back in 1994, the movie was completely restored with a Budget of $600,000.
  • This is one of the few productions that has won both, a Tony Award and an Oscar in the same year. The other three films with these two awards are The Sound of Music, A Man For All Seasons and Amadeus.
  • The film cost $17 million, what meant it was the most expensive movie up to date.
  • It was shot totally indoors.

my-fair-lady-vintage-by-lopez-linares (1)

If possible, my first recommendation for you is to turn on your speakers at home, if you do have them, and listen to the music… It’s poetic, a pleasure for your ears. In my opinion, Audrey Hepburn does one of the best performances in her career, even though she didn’t win many awards for it. Unfortunately, The Academy didn’t forget her voice was doubled and didn’t give her the prizes she deserved.

With no doubt, the movie is one of the master pieces in the musical genre. A musical with a performance and a costume design worth of being admired.

With this movie we close our year of films. We’ve been reviewing one classic movie per week in our Film of the Week and I’d like to thank you all the incredible good acceptance this adventure has had among you all. We might bring it again to the blog some day, but first we have to give you many other surprises we are planning for our new sections from September onwards. Be tuned!



Richard Avedon

One more month with my project “The Magic Lens”. Time passes by so quickly!

Our protagonist this month has been my friend Araceli Calabuig who chose Richard Avedon as our master photographer to replicate in July. And Monica Giannini has been one more time my adorable model. Without her this challenge wouldn’t have been possible.

Richard Avedon was the photographer who made us witnesses of 70 years of history. He was a revolutionary fashion specialist who made his models myths of the history. After his work, fashion photography never was the same. The best fashion magazine are inspired in his artwork yet today.

From his life’s work I choose the elegance and essense of his portraits. He knew how to suprise with something that looks so easy like having someone posing with a white background. Hamphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando or Marilyn Monroe were some of his many models.

I’ve read the way he used to get the essense of his protagonists was easy and very effective at the same time: exhaust them, not only psychology but also physically. Sometimes, over four hours of work in front of the camera was enough for the model to show the real personality.

Richard Avedon was a great artist able to surprise not only by capturing the luxury and glamour. His work with social class injustice has been the cover of many newspapers worldwide.

Richard Avedon passed out in October 2004 as a result of a brain hemorrage he had when he was working. From then onwards he has been beating records. One of his photographs, the most emblematic, was sold for as much as 840,000 euros a few years ago.

Let me show you now the images Monica and I selected and copy, during a very hot summer evening. A white background, a non-stop spotlight and a huge wish of learning and learning… I hope you like them!
















Lover come back

Year: 1961.

Director: Delbert Mann.


Rock Hudson (Jerry Webster).

Doris Day (Carol Templeton).

Tony Randall (Peter Ramsey).

Edie Adams (Elie Davis).

Lover-come- Back-vintage-by-lopez-linares (1)


It was nominated for 1 Oscar to Best Writing.

Tony Randall was also nominated for a Golden Globe as the Best Supporting Actor.

Golden Laurel Award for the Top Comedy and Top Female Comedy Performance (Doris Day).

Lover-come- Back-vintage-by-lopez-linares (1)


  • The original end actually was the couple getting drunk in a hotel. But the final cut was totally different…
  • Doris Day explained this way how comedies with Rock Hudson were pure elegance: “I’ve became into a new kind of ‘sex symbol’ girl, the woman with whom men dream about taking to bed, but not before getting married with her. I’m sexy but pure. Somthing I tried very hard in these movies was to avoid the vulgarity, which truly disgusts me. I loved those scripts about the game between men and women if those were made with style, ingenuity and imagination. Within my vocabulary, vulgarity starts when the imagination succumbs to what is explicit.”
  • The Spanish title is totally different from the original one. In our country they decided to choose a desert (pijama) as a title, which ingredients are peach in syrup, canned pineapple, sour cream, flan, vanilla ice-cream and cherries. Rumors say that this desert makes you be sleepy, so you had to to to bed and have a nap (siesta). You understand why when you see the movie.
  • The film is supposed to be a satire about the advertising business in Madison Avenue, where the main agencies were in New York.
  • According to the Director: “Sometimes, we had to do 10 or even 12 shots of one scene, because Rock and Doris used to laugh out loud once and again”.

Lover-come- Back-vintage-by-lopez-linares (1)

For many of the classic films lovers this is one of the three best romantic comedies by Doris Day and Rock Hudson, since it reflected very well the reality happening among middle class people by the end of the 50’s.

With no doubt, they are a couple who won by their own merits to be in the top of the best Hollywood couples in the history of cinema. They were good Friends in real life, therefore they turned to be the funniest couple in cinema.

Audience just fell in love with them, both of them, although the help coming from the unforgettable Tony Randall, the third part in that trio, did the rest for this movie to be a complete success worldwide.

I’ve enjoyed a lot remembering some of the funniest scenes. Hope you like them too!



Over two centuries of bridal fashion

Let me give you today a very special recommended plan: an exhibition that was opened last March at the Victorian and Albert Museum in London. Among its walls the luckiest readers who happen to live in London or around will be able to learn the history of the classical wedding dress since it became popular among brides-to-be in the end of the 18th century. I don’t live close enough but I’d really love paying a visit, so I’ll do so through your eyes.

The best designers over the year like Charles Frederick Worth, Norman Hartnell, Charles James, John Galiano, Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood and Vera Wang will guide you with their over 70 designs through the evolution of this costume that will ever be fashionable: a wedding dress in pure white or in the most sensual ivory.

3 Silk satin wedding dress designed by Norman hartnell in 1933 - Victoria and Albert Museum London - Vintage By Lopez-Linares recommendation

The exhibition tells the astonishing story of each one of the 70 dresses, starting back in 1775 until today, and include new acquisitions like the purple dress worn by Dita Von Teese for her marriage with Marilyn Manson and the one worn by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale on their wedding day.

Besides enjoying these pieces of art, the V&A Museum has planned events regarding the bridal collection. Evening talks, workshops or romantic concerts will give the show even more spectacular nature. If you want to know the upcoming events, go to Wedding Dresses 1775-2014: Events (just click over the link to go to the page straight away)


I wish I could go for instance to the workshop with the award-wining writer Julie Cohen as a speaker, who will please the visitors with an introduction to basics of romantic writing. Or… Why not? Listening to the Britain’s most acclaimed fashion designer Bruce Oldfield. And my favorite workshop: Learning how to use a Victorian tiara, like a real queen would do.

The show will be opened until the next March 15th 2015, which means you, who live in the UK, have time enough to go for a visit, enjoy all its details and get amazed with each piece. And of course, I’ll be waiting for you to tell me your experience on comments! You’ll be my eyes…

Here’s the link to the website with more information about timetable and tickets availability. Enjoy your visit!

Wedding Dresses 1775-2014: Visitor & Ticket Information

Images source: Victorian and Albert Museum and Arabia Style Fashion

The Prince and the Showgirl

Year: 1957.

Director: Laurence Olivier.


Marilyn Monroe (Elsie).

Laurence Olivier (the Prince).

Sybil Thorndike (The Queen).

Richard Wattis (Northbrook).

The-Prince-and-the-Showgirl-vintage-by-lopez-linares (6)


Nominated for 5 BAFTA Film Awards: Best British Actor, Best British Film, Best British Screenplay, Best Film, Best Foreign Actress.

David di Donatello Awards to Marilyn Monroe for her performance. She also was nominated to the Golden Laurel Award for her Top Female Comedy Performance.

Sybil Thorndike won the National Board of Review as the Best Supporting Actress.

The-Prince-and-the-Showgirl-vintage-by-lopez-linares (2)


  • Due to her constant weigh changes, the Custome team had to have several different sizes for her dresses ready.
  • Laurence Olivier had already performanced the role before in theatres with his wife Vivien Leigh.
  • Marylin got 75% out of the total profits of the movie.
  • It’s said Laurence Olivier was so imppressed with Marilyn’s behaviour during the shot of the film that he didn’t direct any other movie until 1970.
  • This was the last movie Marilyn did our of the States.
  • The film was pretended to be a musical, but Arthur Miller (Marilyn’s husband) convinced her not to do it.
  • Vivien Leigh was called in to do the main character. She was too old though.

The-Prince-and-the-Showgirl-vintage-by-lopez-linares (7)

Once again the fight between high and lower class lets us enjoy an amazing script, where an unbreakable Prince falls in love with a showgirl.

Marilyn, who already felt the excess of her life over herself, does a splendid performance. She is the light in every scene she appears. Laurence Olivier had to deal for first time in his life with an actress he liked a lot, and almost got crazy due to her irresponsability. She used to be late at work, didn’t want to follow his instructions and never ever repeated the same sentence.

Probably because of that the movie is fluid, fresh and audience never perceives all those directing difficulties.

Laurence Olivier said years later: “You couldn’t do anything with that kind of light, it was just imposible… Maybe I was too busy directing back then, so much that I didn’t realize of the huge potential I had by my side; there are moments where she is just wonderful. I think Marilyn was unique”. And I agree. To me this movie and Some Like It Hot are the two best Marilyn’s performances.

If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss the chance of enjoying one of the funniest and most casual movies in the classic cinema!