Saturday, September 10, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor's Jewels

Who will carry the next jewelry torch? Is there someone out there who loves jewelry as much, or has amassed the level of important pieces, as Elizabeth Taylor? Wallis Simpson?  Even Joan Crawford had a respectable Agnes Moorehead-looking jewelry collection for god sake. Kim Kardashian may have a 20 carat diamond engagement ring, but she doesn't strike me as the type to have the insight that Liz and Dick had to acquire some of the most historically significant jewels of the world.  Madonna has purchased some pieces previously owned by Wallis Simpson, but jewelry looks better on a woman, not an aging rat terrier.

Liz Taylor by Richard Avedon
Today's celebrities are really cheesy in the way they beg, borrow, or steal the fabulous jewels they are seen wearing on the red carpet. They are wealthy, but apparently not the kind of wealthy that allows them to buy and wear Van Cleef & Arpels or Bulgari on a regular basis. However, it does appear to be a symbiotic relationship between the stars and the designers who need celebrities to help them establish their name. Are there no new designers out there who have enough confidence in their stuff to put their stuff out there for the sake of their own stuff? Does every new designer need a celebrity name behind them in order to get started, let alone survive? As I grow more and more tired of celebrity entitlement, I long for a true designer (jewelry or clothing) who can rest on their laurels alone.

Liz ignoring the rule... put all your jewelry on and then remove one piece.
Liz, Wallis, and Jackie were the last of a fine breed of American women who lived a life my generation is not familiar with. The uber-jewel collections have migrated to the Asian, Russian, and Middle Eastern communities (not including the Royals, who really don't own any of it - they just host it) because that is where the wealth is today. Enjoy ladies! Protect those sparkles, and like Liz said, "I am fortunate to have some very important pieces of jewelry. I don't believe I own any of the pieces. I believe that I am their custodian, here to enjoy them, to give them the best treatment in the world, to watch after their safety, and to love them."

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