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John Hughes

The Laureate of 1980s teenage high school movies, John Hughes (1950-2009) was the screenwriter and sometimes director of seminal films such as Sixteen Candles (1984), Weird Science (1985), The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) and Pretty in Pink (1986). His films influenced fashion, his New Wave soundtracks…

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Jacques Cartier

Jacques Cartier (1885-1942) was the grandson of the eponymous jewellery dynasty’s founder Louis-François Cartier who took over the business of his Parisian master Adolphe Picard in 1847 and opened his first premises in 1852. The Cartier family defied the rule that the third generation would dissipate the wealth created by…

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HRH The Duke of Windsor
  • April 9, 2017
  • Posted In: Royal

HRH the Duke of Windsor (1894-1972) was born in the twilight of his great grandmother Queen Victoria’s reign. In his youth, the handsome, charismatic Prince of Wales – named Edward after his uncle the Duke of Clarence and Avondale but known to his family as David – was the first…

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Major Sir Malcolm Campbell

Between 1924 and 1935 British motoring legend Major Sir Malcolm Campbell (1885-1948) broke the land speed record nine times. He would set the water speed record a further four times. Campbell’s automobiles and boats – christened Blue Bird – were as emblematic of the frantic, transatlantic jazz age as Josephine…

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Samuel Courtauld

Textile industrialist and art collector Samuel Courtauld (1876-1947) was one of the first British patrons to see the beauty in French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. In the 1920s Courtauld and his wife Elizabeth (‘Lil’) chose pieces by Manet, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Cézanne and Van Gogh that are considered amongst their…

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HIH Grand Duchess Marie of Russia
  • March 17, 2017
  • Posted In: Royal

HIH Grand Duchess Marie of Russia (1853-1920) was the only daughter of Tsar Alexander II and the only member of the Romanov dynasty to marry into the British royal family. Despite opposition from both sides, the Grand Duchess married Queen Victoria’s second son Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1874…

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HM King George V
  • March 13, 2017
  • Posted In: Royal

Though not born to rule, HM King George V (1865-1936) steered the British monarchy through the most volatile period of political and social change in 20th century history. The Great War, the Great Depression, the rise of Communism, the threat of Nazism and the Abdication Crisis all clouded his rule….

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Muhammad Ali Jinnah

The founder and first Governor General of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) was known to the nation he created as Qayid-i-Azam (Great Leader). He was the leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until partition was accomplished in 1947. He has most recently been depicted by Denzil Smith in the…

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Marcel Boussac

Marcel Boussac (1889-1980) was the textile magnate known as ‘King of Cotton’, the financier behind couture house Christian Dior and France’s most successful owner/breeder of thoroughbred racehorses in the 20th century. In the 1930s he was the richest man in France and produced over a fifth of the country’s cotton…

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Lucius Beebe

Café society columnist and bon viveur Lucius Beebe (1902-1966) cut a swathe through ‘crazy luxe’ Jazz Age New York with all the swagger of a seasoned flaneur. Describing his magpie mind, Beebe said ‘the Renaissance Man did a number of things, many of them well, a few beautifully. He was…

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