the ugly earring

ug‧ly [uhg-lee] offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance

persian trousers

… She was so different from other women that ordinary clothes were impossible for her.  Long Persian trousers of heavy gold brocade, fastened tightly, held by diamond bangles… feet encased in gold sandals with high diamond heels, she smoked cigarettes out of a long black holder, studded with diamonds.

catherine barjansky about marchesa casati

photo from this treasure trove

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lay their necks

“My mother says when I get older my dusty hair will settle and my blouse will learn to stay clean, but I have decided not to grow up tame like the others who lay their necks on the threshold waiting for the ball and chain.”
— Sandra Cisneros (The House on Mango Street)

photo of a young marchesa casati