If you’ve ever worn a tiara, you know the power they wield. “Of all the pieces of jewelry worn by women throughout history, the tiara reigns supreme,” says Andrew Prince, a jewelry historian and the designer behind many of the hair jewels featured in Downton Abbey. “Not only because of its regal connotations, nor its undoubted splendor, but because of the way the person feels elevated when wearing one,” he explains. Prince, who also designed the diadem for Disney’s Cinderella movie, is adamant that tiaras should not be left in a safe to gather dust. “There is something almost instinctive about these jewels; it is impossible to hold one and not put it on your head,” he quips.
In the SS22 collections, fashion designers seemed to agree. For Gucci, Alessandro Michele sent no fewer than eight tiaras down the runway, while Simone Rocha’s models sported playful crowns formed of crystal beads, the final flourish to yards of broderie anglaise, lace and tulle. The girls strode tall, too – shoulders back, chin up – demonstrating the immediate tiara effect: it’s impossible to slouch when wearing one. They are an instant, physical pep talk, and they are also worn for some of our most memorable life moments, whether that’s a bat mitzvah or prom, black-tie event or wedding.
The key to choosing the perfect tiara is to go to the experts – and as Garrard launches on NET-A-PORTER, the maison brings several centuries of tiara-making expertise with it. Indeed, during its appointment as British Crown Jeweler from 1843 to 2007, Garrard crafted some of the British Royal Family’s most important tiaras and crowns, including Queen Mary’s ‘Girls of Great Britain and Ireland’ tiara – the headpiece Queen Elizabeth II is depicted wearing in her portrait on certain issues of British bank notes and coins.
Now, two very special tiaras in Garrard’s Princess Tiaras collection are imbued with this heritage. The ‘Catherine’ tiara is crafted from 18-karat white gold and is set with aquamarines accompanied by more than 500 diamonds. As with many of Garrard’s tiara designs, the central motif can be removed and worn as a pendant, delivering the ultimate two-in-one jewel. Similarly, the ‘Beatrice’ tiara has a detachable pendant at its heart and is set with more than 700 diamonds, weighing almost seven carats. What’s more, each design in the capsule is named after a regal heroine and, as royal names tend to be passed down the generations, these inspirational references to past, present and future will ensure the ultimate legacy jewel.