Princess Di inspires new Garrard jewelry line fronted by Olivia Cooke
Garrard, the London jewelry house founded in 1735, knows its way around royal jewels.
The house was the official Crown jeweler for over 160 years, starting in 1843, and created some of the most famous jewelry the British royal family has worn. The firm hosted a breakfast at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York to introduce their latest collection, 'Blaze', and displayed in-house replicas of Queen Elizabeth II’s most famous tiaras.
On hand was Sara Prentice, creative director for the brand since 2015, to introduce the collection. “In the early 1980s, the head salesperson at Garrard took a selection of rings to the palace for Diana to choose from; she chose a sapphire diamond cluster ring,” Prentice told FashionNetwork.com.
The ring was from the classic 1735 collection and is now passed on to Catherine, Princess of Wales, aka Kate Middleton.
“I wanted to do something that rocked the design a bit, unbalancing what was done previously. I took the cluster, removed the center stone, and inverted it,” explained Prentice adding, “For me, this collection is more than using the design as an interpretation. It was using Diana as a form of inspiration. She was a woman marrying into the Royal Family, making her own choices, choosing the design and ring. Then the woman she came to be making strong choices and her iconic fashion sense.”
Another strong female character will be the brand’s ambassador for the collection, English actress Olivia Cook who stars in the 'Blaze' campaign. The actress will pick up the role of Alicent Hightower on House of Dragons, replacing the younger actress Emily Carey who launched the series.
The full suite mixes and marries stones in chromatic combos for "a punch of color" that purposely (almost entirely) avoids diamonds. The designer also cautioned its construction was far more intensive to work out the proportions of the simple design.
The blue colorway uses tanzanite, blue sapphire, aquamarine, and turquoise in a funky combination of baguette, cabochon, and faceted pear-shape gemstone cuts. A pink grouping is made from sapphires, opals, and rubellite, while a green combo is made from tourmaline, sapphires, and two shades of chalcedony. White agate, moonstone opals, and diamonds make up the white version of the motif that includes a pendant necklace, wrap hoops, earrings, bar necklace, ear climbers, and ring.
Marketing chief Patricia Cerda was on hand with the lore of the two tiara replicas in tow.
The 'Fringe' tiara worn on Queen Elizabeth’s wedding day almost spelled disaster on the big day. The multi-function headpiece held the jeweled fringe that could be removed and worn as a necklace. It snapped while the bride had her hair styled but was pieced back in time. Princess Anne and Princess Beatrice have since worn it on their respective wedding days.
The 'Girls of Great Britain' tiara was also on display for eager jewelry journalists to try on. As no one else but Queen Elizabeth has worn it in 70 years, its future is uncertain. So are the royal warrants, which would have to be renewed by King Charles. In the meantime, Cerda and her team wonder who will wear the tiara next and if Garrard will be called into duty to adjust the Crown.
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