Trend to Try: The Tiara
As a symbol of status and tradition, the royal tiara is a sight we all love to see and admire. We revel in the ornament’s splendor, but we rarely try to recreate the look for ourselves. But with a new season—and hopefully a better year on the horizon—why hold back? Why wouldn’t you want to shadow some of the most iconic looks of all time, showcased by royalty and celebrities?
If that isn’t enough, the hit Netflix series Bridgerton has also prompted a spike in sales of tiaras. In season one, the principal characters’ tiaras were borrowed from the Swarovski archive, while others were sourced from dealers in New York, Italy and the UK. The show also has its own artisan jewellery designer, Lorenzo Mancianti, who made hundreds of pieces for the show throughout seasons one and two. To date he has created nearly 400 sets of gems, including matching necklaces, earrings and bracelets, as well as tiaras.
The act of wearing a “headdress” dates back to ancient Greek and Rome, and in royal weddings, tradition dictates that the bride wear jewels from her own family. This is because of the tiara’s roots in classical antiquity—it was seen as the emblem of the loss of innocence to the crowning of love. However, there is certainly a modern way to pull off the look.
While the royals often wear tiaras for formal events and state dinners, they are also particularly popular for royal weddings (despite not being an official requirement), with royal brides considered some of the most influential when it comes to wedding inspiration. Duchess Catherine (Kate Middleton) is an obvious, iconic example of how to wear a tiara with ease and grace on a wedding day. She paired her stunning, custom lace Alexander McQueen gown with the Cartier Halo tiara, which is comprised of 739-brilliant cut diamond and 149 baguette diamonds.
For her surprise wedding this summer, Princess Beatrice opted to wear the Fringe Tiara, which was originally owned by Queen Mary and features 47 diamond bars divided by metal spikes. It was the same tiara that Queen Elizabeth wore to her own 1947 wedding, and Beatrice’s Aung, Princess Anne, also wore it when she married Mark Phillips in 1973. The Fringe Tiara was charming when paired with a simple ivory peau de soie taffeta wedding dress immortalized in a famous portrait of her grandmother, the Queen.
Queen Rania of Jordan perfects the tiara trend time and time again with her legendary trendsetting style. One of the repeat pieces she is most known for is her delicate Boucheron Bracelet Tiara embellished with three drop diamonds (tiaras don’t always have to be over the top).
And finally, Princess Madeline of Sweden wearing the inherited Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara shows us just how gorgeous a colored-gemstone pick can be. The oversized light-blue stones are simply eye-catching and complemented by lattice-like diamonds, making the masterpiece one that we’re okay with seeing over and over.
With all of that said, some of my favorite tiara moments also include celebrities. Each one your about to see can be easily recreated for an upcoming soiree. So, let’s go.
Grunge: The sometimes-controversial rock goddess, Courtney Love, sent 90s fashionistas everywhere into an obsessive whirlwind when she paired a tiara with an ivory silk slip dress at the 1995 Oscars after-party. It was an inexpensive replica, but the look still gives me chills…and makes me appreciate my old pair of Dr. Martens. To pull the look off today, I would rock a tiara with beachy hair, a floral slip dress, and some cabernet lips. Case closed.
Grace: How could I not include Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s scene? Paired with a Hubert de Givenchy LBD and oversized costume pearls, the mini tiara was set in front of Hepburn’s perfect bouffant for what would become one of the most famous cinematic fashion looks of all time. Even though the shift dress is timeless, it dates the entire ensemble.
So for a modern-day approach, I would ditch the pearls and the sunglasses for a simple comb tiara, sleek bun, smoky eyes, and perhaps a more fanciful, flowy black dress.
Ethereal: Bohemian-chic muse, Sienna Miller, set the stage for what a flower tiara should look like at the 2013 Tony Awards. She basically floated down the red carpet with a perfectly tousled updo, finished with tiny drop earrings, a dewy glow, and berry-stained lips. There is not much I would change about this look except for maybe infusing the hairstyle with some sort of braid and bronzy makeup. But, if I can find a sophisticated-yet-playful, secret garden headpiece that looks like Miller’s, I’ll wear it any way I can.
The tiara is also a popular red-carpet accessory, selected by stylists looking to add an extra sparkling something to a celebrity look. The Met Gala, in particular, is known for its headline-making headpieces, being an event where there is no such thing as ‘too much.’ While designers use headwear as an opportunity to be creative and fit to the annual theme, it’s also a way for stars to stand out among the sea of other A-listers; there’s no other red carpet that provides guests with such an opportunity to really dress up and have fun with fashion.
Whatever style you prefer, nothing says glamour and grandeur quite like a tiara. Tiaras may seem to be one the most imposing jewelry pieces, but nowadays, they are more whimsical accessories than historical artifacts. Consider trying one the next time you want some extra sparkle for a big night out!
About The Author
Debbie Azar is the Co-Founder and President of Gemological Science International (GSI), one of the largest gemological organizations in the world, and a distinguished leader in the global diamond and jewelry industry. As an executive with extensive knowledge of the jewelry and gem lab industries, her entrepreneurial skills and vision have helped GSI achieve rapid and continuous growth worldwide, establishing 13 leading-edge gemological facilities on four continents. She currently serves on the boards of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Responsible Jewellery Council, and Jewelers for Children, and is a member of the 24 Karat Club of New York. She has been featured in Forbes, Daily Mail, Good Morning America, Bloomberg, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fox Business, Fox5, CBS2, BOLDTV, Varney&Co, The Street, and NASDAQ, among others.