Once the preserve of prom-goers, beauty queens, brides and Her Majesty, tiaras are for anyone who longs to channel their inner princess. And why not?
The tiara became a popular adornment amongst upscale ancient Greeks who fashioned metal ‘diadems’ (taken from the Greek word ‘diadein’ meaning ‘to wrap around’). The Romans favoured gold, creating ornate wreaths and adding precious stones to their designs. The first real tiara shape, with a raised point at the front, can be attributed to them.
These decadent mini crowns were replaced by demure hats and veils during medieval times but returned with renewed glitz and glamour during the rule of Napoleon. Queen Victoria had a penchant for floral designs and Queen Elizabeth is rumoured to have the largest and most valuable collection in the world. (You have be invited to a BFF sleep-over to see them.)
The Duchess of Cambridge made the tiara feel young, beautiful and relevant when she stepped out for her first state banquet at Buckingham Palace, wearing a Pearl and Lotus Flower Tiara borrowed from her royal mother-in-law. This glittering symbol of the establishment, once owned by the Queen Mother, looked anything but antiquated.
I’ll wager Pippa will be wearing one at her upcoming wedding too.
A symbol of wealth and status for royalty and the highly well-heeled, the tiara now appears to be attracting a growing customer base amongst fashion-conscious ‘commoners’. After all, there can be few fashion accessories that scream regal chutzpah and silver spoon confidence like a tiara. If you’re important enough to wear a crown, you’ve arrived, surely?
Madonna and Victoria Beckham both wore elaborate creations on their much-discussed wedding days and Courtney Love managed to make hers look rebellious when she accessorised it, in true anti-establishment style, with red lipstick, wild hair and a barely-there slip dress at the 1995 Vanity Fair Oscars party.
Admittedly, an ordinary mortal over the age of 11 might still need convincing. The concept of donning a crown for your Friday night out may still feel a bit over the top for most. Yet as Saint Laurent designer, Hedi Slimane, confidently reassured us last year, the tiara can be worn with ‘everything’. His catwalk show featured the kind of dainty tiaras you might find in a pre-schooler’s dressing up box, paired with metallic slip dresses, denim overalls and chunky boots. Exactly the kind of look that you’d expect to see at a music festival, which is where the trend is possibly set to continue getting the most hair-time.
But according to jeweller and creator of bespoke tiaras, Alice Cicolini, anyone can wear a crown with confidence. It’s all about the carrying it off. Although she has crafted handmade creations for European royalty, she is increasingly responding to enquiries from more and more low-born subjects.
Less is generally is probably more, unless you’re Katie Price, so stick to something small and understated that sits delicately just above your hairline. For the tiara-shy a sparkling hairband is the perfect entry point. Shine and wave, girls, shine and wave.