"Elements of Style"
Dec. 1, 1923: The French actress Mistinguett, née Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois, photographed at home in Paris with her hundreds of fine shoes and blurry pet monkey. She had a certain flair for things ostentatious and dramatic, having reportedly had her famous legs insured in 1919 for 500,000 francs, and, according to The New York Times, challenging strangers who jostled her. “Mlle. Mistinguett, France’s most popular music hall artist, may fight a duel one day soon,” a special cable to The Times reported. “She slapped a man’s face the other other evening and his wife is demanding reparation. Meanwhile Mistinguett is practicing with both pistols and foils so that she may be ready.” Photo: The New York Times