Textbook for Fashionista: Lady Georgiana Spencer Cavendish

While the interwebs may still be abuzz about Kate Middleton's dress and Beatrice's hat--I thought I'd pay tribute to another British icon.
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While the interwebs may still be abuzz about Kate Middleton's dress and Beatrice's hat--I thought I'd pay tribute to another British icon.
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Fans of the Tumblr blog Textbook, take note: Fashionista has teamed up with the blog’s mastermind, John Jannuzzi, to create storyboards for our industry’s style stars. (See an archive of his work for us here.)

While the interwebs may still be abuzz about Kate Middleton's dress and Beatrice's hat--I thought I'd pay tribute to another British icon.

Stretching way back to the days of yore (my favorite days), England was enchanted by Lady Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. You may remember Keira Knightley's portrayal of the fashionable noble a few years ago in The Duchess. Aside from her flamboyant wardrobe and trendsetting ways, she was an active politician--well as active as a duchess could be in the late 18th century. She championed the causes of the Whig Party and was instrumental in securing votes for the party. Though her public life may have been glamorous, she was plagued by an unhappy, unfaithful and at times bizarre marriage. Her husband, the Duke, had open affairs and moved his Mistress (Georgiana's best friend) into their home. As time went on, the three managed a peaceful if not awkward coexistence. If I had to equate her with anybody today, I don't know if I'd put her in the ranks of the effortless Kate Middleton or the expressive Daphne Guinness...I imagine she falls somewhere in between, setting the trend for the nation while taking care of its people.

1. Fancy Georgiana is fancy Dress by Dries Van Noten, coat by Prabal Gurung, shoes by Alexander McQueen

2. On the campaign trail Cape by Chloe, dress by Gucci, shoes by Lanvin

3. Taking Charlotte, Eliza, Harry-O, Little G, and William for a stroll Coat by Prada, dress by Stella McCartney, shoes and tights by Jason Wu

About The Writer John Jannuzzi began styling figures from history and literature on his blog Textbook in September 2009. He studied at Muhlenberg College and Parsons, The New School for Design and currently works at Lucky magazine in New York. He tweets like a crazy person.