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trends & subculturesWednesday, December 21, 2016

Trending Tiaras Lessons From Runway Royalty

We’ve long equated tiaras with royalty. We were made to believe that only a handful of women in the world were born with the right stuff to pull off the real deal - remember Pretty Pretty Princess? Some top European fashion houses have finally opened the royal gates, and whimsical as it is to imagine ourselves the princess, now’s the chance for us regular citizens to hold our heads high, topped with jewels.

Modern History

 

If tiaras were indeed the sole fashion prerogative of royals until now, we’d certainly have missed out on something. But in reality, lots of fashionable aristocrats have also had the pleasure of wearing diamonds atop their heads. Some of the Downton Abbey ladies let their aspirations show on choice occasions (though certainly not within earshot of the royals). Throughout the roaring twenties, the tiara was a popular accessory amongst the glitzy, high-riding crowd on both sides of the Atlantic. It’s easy to forget the tiara fashion trend’s egalitarian roots when we have selection of beautiful and very photogenic modern royals - Kate Middleton, Queen Rania of Jordan, and Queen Letizia of Spain - who wear it so well. The People’s Princess, dear Diana, donned especially regal crowns throughout her public life. One of her most memorable styles, which is yet to be topped, housed a row of dangling tear-drop pearls. Ever elegant, she wore the matching earrings as well.

 

When speaking of alternative ways to wear diamonds and other lavish jewelry, we cannot discount American Royalty. Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn both made appearances in princess tiaras throughout their careers on the silver screen. The most iconic moment - which given its popularity makes one wonder how tiaras have not appeared as a popular trend sooner – is Hepburn as Holly Golightly descending the stairs in Breakfast at Tiffany’s with a shining crown adorning her perfect up-do. The more traditional tiara moment, of course, is in Roman Holiday. Taylor was equally confident wearing her antique diamond headpiece off-screen. She famously debuted it at the 1957 Academy Awards and wore it again to the event in 1960.

 

Modern Catwalk

 

We have Hedi Slimane to thank for getting the fashion world excited about wearing tiaras again. In his Saint Laurent Spring / Summer ’16 show in Paris, the designer paired tiaras with everything – slip dresses, oversized denim jackets, galoshes! The official Yves Saint Laurent tweet that followed the show read “Saint Laurent grunge tiara to be worn with anything”. Afterward, the industry consensus seemed to be that the exciting thing wasn’t tiaras, necessarily, it was grunge tiaras. The world caught on, and fast. Rebellious girls with their bedazzled heads held high were seen often thereafter, not only at music festivals and fashion shows, but also on subway platforms and choice food truck lines. Beautiful black-and-white ads featuring fresh-faced, denim jacket-clad models were posted on every corner in Noho, backing up their sisters in style.

 

On a different day, in a different place, Dolce & Gabbana revealed their assortment of elaborate, richly colored tiaras as part of the Spring / Summer ’15 show. A year before Slimane, the Italian house revealed a carefully considered collection that was both retrospective and deeply beautiful.

 

The strong gold filigree styles, often paired with roses, speak to the art historian in all of us. A year on, Dolce & Gabbana Spring / Summer ’16 did not disappoint in the headwear department: more crowns, more gold, more roses.

 

Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu’s Spring / Summer ’16 collections included crowns as well, though these could be mistaken for a headband at first glance. While each house follows their own theme (Vuitton’s Sailor Moon vibe, Miu Miu’s mixed bag of references, theoretically set in a ‘sexy salon’ according to Mrs. Prada) both iterations came flush against the wearer’s head, in bold, thick lines, shapes and colors.

 

Modern Girls

 

You don’t have to look too hard around New York to see that we have Courtney Love, our perennial grunge queen, to thank for playing muse to Slimane. For Lady GaGa, who is no stranger to attention-grabbing dress, the tiara fashion trend was a natural choice for the most recent awards show season. Less eccentric fashion girls wholeheartedly embraced the tiara trend as well. Scarlett Johansson and models Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid, Lily Cole and Natalia Vodianova have all been spotted in tiaras while off duty. Like Saint Laurent says, we should wear them with everything.

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