Pearl Power: Fashion Icons Through the Decades Make Statements with Pearls

As the red carpet season in the US comes to a close, we are left with the reminder of the power of fashion. Actors and actresses adorned in designer couture and elegant jewels have always had the ability to inspire trends, which got us thinking about the iconic pearl. Below, we take a look back at some inspiring ‘fashionistas’, from the edgy to the classic, who have made a lasting impression whilst donning pearls, a trademark of the Pearl Islands.

Lady Gaga’s flamboyant personal style has made her one of America’s most intriguing fashion icons of the 21st Century. During New York Fashion Week in 2010, the singer took the idea of ‘pearl encrusted’ to a new level. For the AmFar Benefit Gala, she chose to accompany her hat, bikini, and platform boots ensemble with pearls glued all over her face and body.  

Known for her unerring sense of style, Princess Diana continues to inspire today’s fashions. A look back at the royal’s wardrobe reveals that one of her most spectacular looks was centered around pearls. Designed by Catherine Walker, the white silk ‘Elvis Dress’ and matching bolero jacket was adorned entirely in pearls and sequins. Named after Elvis due to the high starched collar, this evening gown made a dramatic impression during an official visit to Hong Kong, and again at the 1989 British Fashion Awards. In 1997, this dress was one of the seventy-nine gowns auctioned off for charity at Christie’s in New York City. The Franklin Mint placed the winning bid and then went on to design a Diana doll wearing a replica. Later, the dress was donated to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum where it remains today.

It also goes without saying that Queen Elizabeth has made pearls her trademark accessory. Many expect her to be wearing them in some shape or form when she celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in June.

Pearls were also involved in one of the most memorable and risqué moments in music. During the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna performed her first live rendition of the scandalous ‘Like a Virgin’ song wearing a lacy white wedding gown, her signature ‘Boy Toy’ belt, and of course long strands of shimmering pearls. To this day it is one of the most remembered ensembles in music.

While Breakfast at Tiffany’s may be credited for making the little black dress iconic, Audrey Hepburn’s look in the opening scenes would not have been complete without the accessories. Although stunning by itself, the dress design by couturier Hubert de Givenchy was complemented with a three-strand pearl choker that helped to make the outfit pop. To this day the look is continually described as ultra-feminine, Parisian and timeless.

What are some of your favourite looks featuring pearls?  Share them below as a comment and we will add them to our list.

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