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Celebrity Style: Forget the Bling, Bring Back Old Hollywood Glamour with Pearls

Categories: Blog December 12, 2014 @ 7:07 AM 0 Comments      


Call me old fashioned, but I'll take glamorous stars like Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor over spoiled pseudo-celebs like Paris Hilton, Ashlee Simpson, Nicole Ritchie and their ilk any day of the week. Whereas Old Hollywood oozed mystery, sophistication and class, today's overexposed starlets lack grace--and sometimes even talent! Take the way they present themselves: Today's stars walk the red carpet barely clothed, dripping in outrageous, tacky bling, yammering on about their personal lives. Yesterday's icons--Jackie Lady and O Diana also come to mind--projected a glamorous elegance one would actually make an effort to emulate. They dressed with flair, accessorized with style and kept their private lives private. What's more, lots of the Old Hollywood elite wore the best gem, the pearl, whose ladylike, demure reputation is really fitting for these elegant women. Luckily for me, and the rest of the world, pearls are generating a big comeback. Let's hope Hollywood revives old-style ladylike behavior combined with the ladylike gem. As an homage to Old Hollywood glamour, let's take a look at the pearl jewelry made famous by some of our most beloved female icons. - black news

Elizabeth Taylor

Perhaps the favourite jewelry collector of our own time, legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor also owns the most famous pearl, La Peregrina. Presented to her in 1969 by then-husband Richard Burton (yep, he's the main one Liz married twice), La Peregrina, an enormous, pear-shaped white pearl, was discovered with a slave in early 1500s within the Gulf of Panama. First given as a wedding gift to Mary Tudor, the daughter of King Henry VIII, the rare and extraordinary gem was owned by a succession of royalty before being purchased at auction by Burton for Taylor as a Valentine's Day gift. (Why she divorced him I don't know. Why she divorced him twice is a lot more of a mystery. Any man who gave me jewels like that could be a keeper.) After receiving the huge pearl, which had been hanging from a thin chain, Taylor instructed famous jewelry designer Cartier to produce a ruby and diamond necklace incorporating the gem. The breathtaking outcome is absolutely stunning. (Look online to get a photo; the necklace is really special.) Trivia: Taylor once lost the famous La Peregrina pearl in her home. A frantic search turned up the enormous white her dog's mouth! Before it was scratched, thank goodness Taylor found it!

Marilyn Monroe

You wouldn't think luscious Marilyn, emulated by every modern day celebrity from Madonna to Lindsay Lohan and Christina Aguilera, would sport a demure single strand of pearls. Along with her blonde locks, eye-popping cleavage and breathy voice, the Marilyn Monroe we love is a lot more on the top than that--but a single strand of pearls is precisely what she wore. Marilyn received the luminous saltwater pearl strand from baseball slugger Joe Dimaggio, her second husband. Joltin' Joe presented Marilyn with the gorgeous 16-inch Mikimoto necklace produced from forty-four matched round white Japanese akoyas while they were on their own honeymoon. Perhaps Dimaggio, in giving luscious Marilyn the gorgeous pearl strand, was attempting to turn the sexy star to the perfect 1950s housewife? These were called Mr. and Mrs. America, all things considered. Alas, their marriage lasted but per year.

Audrey Hepburn

Breakfast at Tiffany's is a classic film not only because it's a wonderful romantic comedy that stars beloved screen legend Audrey Hepburn, but because it showcased the waiflike Ms. Hepburn's elegant and effortless style. The dress she wore within the film, her now-famous simple black sleeveless style, was an ideal backdrop for the six-strand pearl and rhinestone necklace she sported as adorable Holly Golightly. (Inside the film, the beguiling but penniless Golightly would endearingly stare inside the renowned jeweler Tiffany's window, daydreaming of owning the treasures within.) Trivia: Hepburn's necklace inside the film is faux, created from marquise-shaped rhinestones (not diamonds! ) that cascade gorgeously from your imitation pearls. Faux or otherwise not, the ornate pearl necklace looks just gorgeous on Hepburn's graceful neck.

Jackie O: Surprisingly, Jackie O's famous and much-photographed triple strand pearl choker is also simulated. The gorgeous pearl choker she's recognized for featured round white "pearls" on strands of graduated lengths, and typified Jackie's signature crisp, elegant style. The necklace's popularity went over the top when Jackie was photographed holding her son John-John while he played together with her pearls. Trivia: Jackie's triple-strand faux pearl necklace went up for auction in 1996. The simulated pearls, nearly valueless were it not for association with Jackie, were expected to fetch $500-$700. The Franklin Mint bought the piece for $211,500!

Princess Diana

Another beloved icon of class, wealth and style, Princess Diana's most well-known pearl piece may well be her dangling pearl and diamond tiara. Dubbed the Cambridge Love Knot, this gorgeous tiara was given to the princess by her mother-in-law, the Queen of England. Copies of Lady Di's pearl tiara are worn by brides the world over on the wedding ceremony. But Lady Di wore the Spencer family tiara on her wedding day, not the Cambridge Love Knot, and paired it using a sapphire and pearl choker she received as being a wedding gift from her husband-to-be, Prince Charles. Within the top? Not if you think about the gown this jewelry was designed to accessorize: Princess Diana's ivory silk gown enjoyed a 25-foot long train and was decorated with ten thousand pearls and sequins. Fit to get a princess, indeed.

Other famous pearl admirers

When dishing about celebrity pearl jewelry, no article could be complete without mentioning fashion maven Coco Chanel, the scrappy French designer who made pearls her signature try looking in the 1920s. Wearing pearl ropes as easily as other women wear jeans, Coco's House of Chanel used pearls in many jewelry pieces, and place out such gorgeous jewelry as a bracelet made of 105 akoya pearls surrounded by diamonds and gold. Recently, the Paris-based fashion house premiered its annual jewel collection, which features one-of-a-kind pearl pieces priced from $29,000 to $450,000.

When conversing about celebrity pearl jewelry, we should also mention Sarah Jessica Parker, the actress and current day style icon who made layered oversize pearl necklaces chic in their memorable Gap ads from last year. Nor could we neglect Rene Russo. The necklace the model- turned-actress wore throughout the movie Tin Cup, which featured white pearls evenly spaced on fine chain, received almost as much attention since the Golden Globe-nominated romantic comedy. Rene's Tin Cup necklace, now a jewelry staple, sparked a brand new trend in modern, sophisticated pearl jewelry. Today, several stunning variations of the simple and elegant Tin Cup necklace are available in jewelry stores worldwide.

Speaking of modern chic, Kiera Knightly rocked pearls at the premier of her movie The Black Pearl by sporting a black baroque pearl choker created using different shades of Tahitian pearls. (Lucky girl not just grows to wear gorgeous jewelry, she also gets to work alongside Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp.) Life isn't fair! And we can't forget style icon Kate Moss; the fashionable model is additionally frequently noticed in pearl strands.

So, how about it young Hollywood? Why not drop the outrageous bling, daring dresses and outlandish behavior in support of the ladylike glamour, sophistication and enigma that surrounded the screen legends of history? America is sorely lacking screen icons we admire, a lot less desire to emulate. Let's bring backclass and style, and pearls. - black news

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