The Column: All That Glitters

This week’s edition was all about the shiny stuff, so why exactly are we so fascinated by jewels?

Diamonds - A Girl's Best Friend?

Diamonds – A Girl’s Best Friend?

As you might have noticed by now, there’s been something of a sparkly theme to this edition. Our very own Muse Editor, Tom Witherow, tried his hand at directing our shoot; take a look at the beautiful spread to get some inspiration on layering up your necklaces to stunning effect (wet-look hair and smoky eyes optional, but definitely on point.) Fashion Deputies Fran and Miranda show you how to get your paws on catwalk bling for a fraction of the price; and handpick serious showpiece jewellery for every budget. Even our feature interviewee, renowned street style snapper Wayne Tippetts, admits to magpie tendencies.

Shiny things have fascinated humankind since the dawn of ages; jewels and precious metals have been prized not only for their beauty and rarity, but also for their enduring legacies.

Jewellery often blurs the line between art and artefact, as at home in a museum cabinet or a gallery. Art’s infamous grown up enfant terrible, Damien Hirst, made his name with ‘For the Love of God’ (2007), a platinum skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds. It’s this single piece that got me excited about art for the first time.Jewels, and the jewellery that they are cut and set into, have histories that are truly fascinating. Diamonds might well be a girl’s best friend, but they are a anthropology nerd’s dream.

My favourite famous gems include the Koh-i-Noh and the Hope Diamond. The Koh-i-Noh (Persian for “mountain of light”) was once thought to be the largest diamond in the world. It has a particularly bloody history as the spoils of countless wars, culminating in its being set into the crown of our own Queen Elizabeth II. The Hope Diamond is actually supposed to cursed in its own right, may have been worn by the doomed Marie Antoinette, and glows a creepy red in the dark.

Of course, jewellery is often famous through association with those who have worn it. Actress Elizabeth Taylor was probably Hollywood’s most iconic wearer of sparkly rocks; the Christie’s auction of her entire jewel collection came to the eye-watering total of £74,196,480. Julianne Moore, ‘30 Rock’ fame, recently wore £6m of Taylor’s old rocks to a red carpet event, bringing casual accessorising to a whole new level.

When Lindsay Lohan played Taylor in the so-bad-it-was-good ‘Liz and Dick’, it was the jewels – including a replica of the 33-carat Krupp Diamond – that helped her look the part (sadly, they couldn’t help out on the acting front.) It’s perhaps one of life’s little ironies that Lohan herself has run into trouble with the law for being light-fingered around expensive jewellery. Don’t make LiLo’s mistake, instead take our fashion advice and pick up some bling-tastic high street bargains that pack a punch without breaking the bank. When it comes to sparkly things, more is definitely more.

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