Icons of Style & Their Jewellery

From Grace Kelly’s Cartier engagement ring and Audrey Hepburn’s penchant for Tiffany, to Chanel’s rope of pearls and Elizabeth Taylor’s Bulgari collection, some of the biggest style icons in the world will be forever linked to certain jewels. A trip back in time, with their favorite pieces and famous quotes about jewellery.

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Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn
Nationality: 
British
She said
“I’m just CRAZY about Tiffany’s!” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Iconic Piece:
The diamond necklace and hair clip that the actress wore with the black Givenchy evening gown as Holly Golightley in the film.
Audrey Hepburn & Jewellery: 
As well as securing a place for Tiffany & Co in cinematic history, she was also one of only two women to ever wear the famous 128 carats yellow diamond which was the jeweler’s pride and joy.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe
Nationality: American
She said: Talk to me Harry Winston, tell me all about it
Iconic Piece: A diamond necklace, worn in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes paired with a pink satin bustier dress.
Marilyn Monroe & Jewellery: When the blonde bombshell uttered the famous line, women around the globe went wild for Harry Winston’s glittering diamonds.

Liz Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor
Nationality: Anglo-American
Richard Burton said:  “Liz knows only one word of Italian and that’s Bulgari”
Iconic Piece: Actually there are many… Bulgari Emerald Necklace and Bulgari Sapphire Necklace, but also Cartier Ruby Suite, Harry Winston Krupp Diamond, The Taylor-Burton Diamond, La Peregrina Pearl and many others…
Elizabeth Taylor & Jewellery: Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery is tightly interweaved with the tumultuous love-affairs that punctuated her life, beginning in 1962 when she filmed Cleopatra, with a Bulgari Serpenti watch on one arm and Richard Burton – the man she would go on to marry not once but twice – on the other. All of her husbands got her beautiful jewellery but Richard Burton literally showered her with Jewellery presented as “It’s a beautiful day, I love you” and “It’s Tuesday, I love you” gifts.

Gabrielle Chanel

Gabrielle Chanel
Nationality : French
She said : “A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls”
Iconic Piece : Pearl necklaces the Duke of Westminster gave to her, a new rope for every birthday, and many others besides.
Chanel & Jewellery : Once the Duke of Westminster tried to make amends for an affair that Chanel had discovered by giving her a large emerald, she accepted it from him, and then, without a word, let it slip from her hands overboard into the sea. Mademoiselle Chanel also launched her first collection of jewellery and set diamonds free in the 1930’s: watch this mesmerizing video about the story of Bijoux de Diamants.

Maria Callas

Maria Callas
Nationality: American with Greek origins
She said : “Ari’s total understanding of women comes out of a Van Cleef and Arpels catalogue”
Iconic Piece: The Van Cleef & Arpels Fleur broach
Maria Callas & Jewellery: Callas first set foot at Van Cleef and Arpels to try on a diamond ruff necklace with a 49.13cts pear-cut central stone that the brand were loaning to her for a gala. Over the course of her highly successful career and her love affair with Aristotle Onassis, the singer amassed quite a collection. In 2004 Sotheby’s has organised a sale of a small part of it with 11 pieces at Beau-Rivage in Geneva  orchestrated by legendary David Bennett for 2 189 000 CHF.

(Read more about David Bennett here.)

Jackie O

Jackie Kennedy Onassis      
Nationality: American
She said: “Pearls are always appropriate”
Iconic Piece: Her Van Cleef & Arpels cuff bracelet
Jacqueline Kennedy & Jewellery : The ultimate ambassador for American elegance, whether in her ears or around her neck the first lady was rarely seen without her pearls and her Van Cleef & Arpels gold cuffs. However her most prized and decisive piece might be the Van Cleef & Arpels ruby bracelet that Onassis used to conquer her heart. While cruising aboard his yacht, the Christina, shortly before Jack Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Onassis, noticing her open jewel case on her dressing-table, was surprised at how few pieces she had, and of how little value they appeared to be. He immediately called Van Cleef and Arpels in Paris and told them to fly a suitably impressive gift to the yacht. They responded with an $80,000 ($541,716 in today’s money) gold and ruby bracelet.

Maria Felix

María Félix
Nationality: Mexican
She Said :“Some friends tell me that pearls make people cry. The only pearls that make me cry are the fake ones.”
Iconic Piece: A full articulated crocodile necklace made by Cartier in 1975. With removable feet, each crocodile can be worn separately as a brooch, María Félix would also place them as centerpieces on her dinner table.
María Félix & Jewellery: Two of Cartier’s most celebrated animal pieces were created thanks to María Félix: an articulated snake picked out in emerald green, red and black and the famous crocodile necklace in warm gold with emerald scales. For the design of these necklaces, the Mexican actress, known for the luminous beauty that lit up the silver screen at the time, would have brought to the Paris boutique baby crocodile alive – telling them though “to go fast, they will grow.”

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly
Nationality: 
American-Monegasque
She Said : “I favour Pearls on screen and in my private life”
Iconic Piece: 
Platinum engagement ring with a 10.47 carat emerald-cut diamond, ordered by Prince Rainier III from Cartier, January 1956.
Grace Kelly & Jewellery: The Monegasque royal family has been linked to Cartier since Prince Albert I signed a royal warrant with Cartier, back in 1920 but she definitely remains the relationship’s highest-profile ambassador. The year she married Prince Rainier, Grace Kelly even wore her own 10.47cts Cartier engagement ring in her last film, High Society.

Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana, Princess of Wales
Nationality: British
She said : “I don’t want expensive gifts; I don’t want to be bought. I have everything I want. I just want someone to be there for me, to make me feel safe and secure.”
Iconic Piece: An 18 carat Sri Lankan sapphire engagement ring by jeweler to the British royal family, Garrard.
Diana, Princess of Wales & Jewellery: Handed down to Diana’s eldest son Prince William for his engagement to Catherine Middleton, this iconic piece is profoundly linked to his mother’s history and personality. The Princess is said to have met with the Queen’s disapproval in 1981, when she went against royal tradition by choosing an existing catalog piece, rather than a made-to-measure ring. The ring was passed to Diana’s youngest son Harry, while William took his mother’s Cartier Tank watch before changing hands in 2010, when William presented it to his fiancée Catherine Middleton.

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich
Nationality: German
She Said: “Best friends are like diamonds, precious and rare”
Iconic Piece: Art Déco diamond and emerald bracelets made especially for her by Mauboussin
Marlene Dietrich and Jewellery: Marlene Dietrich played a jewellery thief in 1936 film Desire, an image that totally suited the actress who fell in love with the brand in real-life: after ordering two Art Déco baguette-cut diamond and cabochon emerald bracelets, she also demanded to wear the jeweler’s creations in Destry Rides Again, firmly turning the spotlight on Mauboussin.

3 Comments

  1. […] Discover everything – from their most famous quotes on jewellery to their favourite pieces to wear – here. […]

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  2. […] A selection of vintage clothing is on display, including the costumes worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. It was during filming in 1962 that the actress established a long-running love affair not only with her co-star Richard Burton, but also with Bulgari: “Liz knows only one word of Italian and that’s Bulgari”, he used to say. (More icons of style and their jewels here) […]

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