Style Icons and their Jewelry

by Anne Marie Hunter, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

"People will stare. Make it worth their while." - Harry Winston

The world has watched and emulated style icons for thousands of years. And, just what is a style icon? A style icon shares a commitment to fashion. They possess their own distinctive look recognized around the world, and one in which jewelry is often a significant element. In addition, many are known for what they say or write about their style, as much as for the style itself.

Who are some of the classic 20th century style icons? Though countless lists have been compiled, several make those lists again and again.

Jackie O's Signature Style

"Pearls are always appropriate."

Not only the 35th First Lady, Jackie O was an iconic fashion symbol with a renowned jewelry style, where pearls made a frequent appearance. Whether single or multi-strand designs, her pearl jewelry was primarily designed with Czech glass pearls. Her extensive jewelry collection included both costume jewelry and pieces designed by many of the world's finest jewelers. She usually wore only one piece of jewelry at a time--the definitive element of her style.

Grace Kelly's Iconic Fashion

"I favor pearls on screen and in my private life."

Grace Kelly was both an actress and a real-life princess--and dressed like one. Her regal style was touched by Hollywood with statement diamond bracelets, earrings and brooches, multiple strands of pearls and the occasional fun poodle pin.

Style Icons and their Jewelry Brooches

Princess Diana's Royal Look

"Anywhere I see suffering that is where I want to be, doing what I can."

Tireless in her efforts to help the poor and disadvantaged, Diana, Princess of Wales was known as the People's Princess. Though Princess Diana never wrote much about her style, she embodied the fairytale princess look. Her elegant jewelry style included glamorous tiaras, gemstone bracelets and earrings, or pearl and diamond chokers.

Diana Ross' Fierce Fashion

"It takes a long time to get to be a diva. I mean, you gotta work at it."

Synonymous with glitz and glamour, Diana Ross has inspired modern day divas. Splashing across magazines and stages in outfits bejeweled with bigger-is-better collars and complementary hoop earrings, her 1960s style was called "fierce" in fashion circles.

Style Icons and their Jewelry Style Icons and their Jewelry

Marilyn Monroe's Bombshell Style

"Style is just as much about attitude as it is about what you're wearing."

With her irresistible style and appeal, Monroe became a household name. She also made Harry Winston a household name with her love for diamonds. Bigger than life in joy and tragedy, Monroe remains one of the most recognized style icons of all time.

Style Icons and their Jewelry

Rita Hayworth's Glamorous Fashion

"Simplicity is the art of beauty."

The daughter of professional Latin dancers, and star of over 60 films, Rita Hayworth embodied Hollywood glamour. For jewelry, Hayworth wore one or two statement pieces, such as a bold cabochon ring, a choker or cuff bracelet--most often in yellow gold.

Style Icons and their Jewelry

Elizabeth Taylor's Sophisticated Look

"I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can't possess radiance, you can only admire it. I've never thought of my jewelry as trophies. I'm here to take care of it and to love it, for we are only temporary custodians of beauty."

Loved and respected as an actress and humanitarian, Elizabeth Taylor dazzled the world with her inner radiance, as well as with the extraordinary jewels she owned and wore. And, she actually wrote a book about them: Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry.

Style Icons and their Jewelry

Audrey Hepburn's Elegant Fashion

"Why change? Everyone has their own style. When you have found it, you should stick with it."

From the 1960s through today, Audrey Hepburn has inspired remarkable imitation. An Oscar-winning actress, Hepburn retired from films and became a UNICEF ambassador, helping children all over the world. Her jewelry style was simply elegant, often including pearls and diamonds, as in the well-known necklace from Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Style Icons and their Jewelry

Carmen Miranda's Undeniable Aesthetic

"I have never followed what people say it is 'fashionable'. I think that a woman must wear what fits her. That is why I created a style appropriated to my type and my artistical genre."

Known as the Brazilian Bombshell, Carmen Miranda was famous for her signature fruit hats. Miranda's flamboyant style still inspires designers today, including Stella McCartney, Prada and more. Her look was about extreme ornamentation, vivid colors and heaps of stacked bracelets, necklaces and statement earrings all worn together.

Sophia Loren's Sassy Style

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful."

Along with tremendous acting ability and stunning looks, Sophia Loren is also well known for her wit. "Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti," she once said. Sophia Loren's style can be sultry or demure and her jewelry reflects this range, from bold earrings and a choker necklace to a simple pendant on a chain.

Style Icons and their Jewelry Style Icons and their Jewelry

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