Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bejeweled Expression

A recently read passage in Mary Soames' memoir - she was Winston Churchill's daughter - started me thinking about women who expressed themselves in an unexpected way with jewelry.

 Here is the passage.  It is the 1940s and  Mary is visiting at Petworth when Lady Violet Leconfield comes in.

"Suddenly the door burst open, and in came my hostess in her warden's getup: trousers encircled with bicycle clips, uniform jacket - and, swinging under her the steel helmet surmounting her grizzled locks, the grandest and most beautiful pair of diamond pendant earrings I had ever seen in my life!"  

Lady Leconfield
Could these be the under helmet diamonds?

Later Mary recounts:

"Lady Leconfield was in excellent form dressed in a pale blue V-necked jumper - loaded with jewellery and wearing scarlet corduroy slacks!!"

Mary explains that "It was extremely unusual then (other than when "on duty") for grand middle-aged ladies to wear trousers - let alone while also bejewelled."  Hence her amazed comment.

The Book

Then there was Sara Murphy - friend of the Fitzgeralds, Picasso, Leger, and others.  She did pearls on the beach perfectly.

Sara Murphy
French Riviera 1920s

Read more here

Bracelets anyone?

Nancy Cunard

The interesting life of an
heiress advocate.

Excess?  No, not quite yet for then there was Luisa Casati, who besides wearing jewels, often wore her snake and walked around with dual cheetahs.

Perhaps a bit much

 Interesting to note that all of the above - with the exception of Lady Leconfield - were photographed by Man Ray.  When I tried to locate a Man Ray photo of Lady Leconfield, Lady Gaga kept coming up which is a whole other story to which I need not contribute.

So in regard to bejeweled expression today?  I rather liked the way necklaces were worn at the recent Ralph Lauren show. 


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