In more recent years, tiaras have been hijacked by hen-party-planners, Miss World contestants, queen of punk Courtney Love, and Audrey Hepburn who wore her tiara in the most casual way: with breakfast in hand.
In 1937 Cartier created 27 precious tiaras for the coronation of King George VI.
Delicate tiaras, not to be confused with the jeweled bandeau headbands seen at Louis Vuitton are designed to rest lightly on the head. For this reason Cartier has used platinum since the early 20th century, this resistant yet malleable metal lends itself to the whims of the rich. The classic Cartier garland style is diamond lace with flower and leaf motifs.
Tiaras are worn by women to style their hair, to denote their social standing, or for purely aesthetic motives. Tiaras crown an attitude, they’re the hallmark of a style, and distinguish an elite, think of the bold Kokoshnik tiara set with sapphires and diamonds and created by Cartier in 1909 for the Russian Grand Duchess Vladimir.
At the turn of the century, the great couturiers, from Worth to Paquin, rediscovered the tiara and how it could refine hairstyling. It soon gained popularity and inspired the themed parties of aristocrats, and soon after the rich heiresses to financial dynasties. One of them, Lila Vanderbilt Field, a direct descendent of one of the most important steel magnates in the United States adopted the incredible modernity of a Cartier piece in 1902.
Cartier was crowned in 1900 by the Prince of Wales as the “king of jewelers”. At Cartier designers demonstrated particular skill in introducing colored semi-precious stones like topaz and aquamarine, to diamond and platinum settings. And they were designed to be convertible; the central settings of the tiaras could be detached and worn as brooches and pendants. In 1947 American billionaire Barbara Hutton (1912-1979) ordered a Cartier emerald tiara from the collection of Maria Pavlovna, wife of Grand Duke Vladimir, it was also convertible and could be worn as a necklace.
In case you suddenly need a trendy tiara. You never know. Cartier is still the master craftsman of tiaras. Founded in 1847 by goldsmith and jeweler Louis François Cartier (1819-1904), anything is possible chez Cartier. A meandering diadem with Greek frieze designs, a sun diadem inspired by ancient theatre, a winged diadem like the helmet of Hermes, messenger of the gods; Cartier has it all.
Cartier, 13 Rue de la Paix, Paris.