Friday, July 3, 2009
Piling on the Pearls
Coco Chanel is sometimes credited with creating the fashion for wearing masses of pearls, but this isn't quite true. What she pioneered was the mingling of the real and the faux. If you look at the old photos, she didn't really pile them on, either--she was all about elegance and ease rather than over-the-top display.
For that totally trussed look you need to turn to the Edwardians and east Asian nobility, who were the all-time pearly kings and queens.
Here (with bonus historical dish) are Dowager Queen Alexandra (above): who may or may not have started the trend for wearing choker necklaces to hide a scar on her neck, which may or may not have resulted from a failed suicide attempt.
Next is sad American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt (left)--admire her posture, for she got it by being forced to wear a steel rod as a child to stand up straight).
Last but not least the Rana of Dholpur (below), who once won a train in a horse race.
Their pearls are real, but there's no reason not to mimic the look, on a more moderate scale following Coco's example.