Q: What do designers Temperley London, Erté, and celebrated film star Greta Garbo all have in common?

A: A shared affection for one woman–Margaretha Gertrud Zelle–perhaps more known by the infamous stage name, Mata Hari. For those not already acquainted with her story, Mata Hari (meaning “Eye of Dawn” in Malay) was a famed entertainer and seductress of the early 1900’s turned keen, self-made businesswoman. She is largely credited as the originator of the modern striptease and as one of the most sexually captivating women this world has ever known. Her life’s tale was one of supreme dichotomy, renowned as the exotic dancer of all exotic dancers during her prime, as the most desired courtesan of all that offered themselves to the trade, and as the world would later discover, World War I’s most glamourous (alleged) double spy—ultimately executed by firing squad for treason. For these reasons, her name is one that will live on for all eternity as being synonymous with danger, duplicity, eroticism, and style.

Photo courtesy of

Greta Garbo as Mata Hari; photo courtesy of

Black and white photographs of Mata Hari decorated in her irresistible trademark bohemian wear continue to inspire us in limitless ways; her exoticism, creativity, and well-crafted, experimental approach to style (and life in general) are undeniable. Greta Garbo played her, Erté designed his first theatrical costume for her, and Temperley London cited her as one of their most influential creative muses.

To this end, we think it’s time we also pay tribute to the femme fatale O.G.—the VG way—in the form of this Eye of Dawn inspired collection:

1. Rachel Pally Long Fortuna Dress, $251
2. Ashaloo Daisy Fields Chain Headpiece, $58
3. Suzanna Dai Alexandria Necklace, $420
4. Axe 2 Ice Traditional Gold Sequin Pasties, $15
5. Aurélie Bidermann 18K Gold-Dipped Lace Cuff, $1,890
6. Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner, $18



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