Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Wonderful Weekends (Taste in Style)

My tastes in style and glamour.

As the Duke of Swann, I've seen many a glamourous objects worn by the fortunate owners. I appreciate the out-of-the-ordinary but also the irrefutably sleek and classic. We will be discussing Tiaras and other jewellery owned by Royalty all over the world on Tuesdays. Those posts will serve for historic placement and to serve as catalogue of  most of the pieces. Yet I will sometimes discuss my favourite pieces at random to share my tastes and personal opinions and design preferences. So I have decided to do that now.

There are many categories of head ornaments and this will also be discussed over time but did you know that in the class of Tiaras specifically there are also sub-categories. My favourite category is the kokoshnik. This class of tiara has its origin in the folk history of the Ruskian peasants. The ladies of old used to wear a headress or hat for obviously practical reasons of covering the head in order to protect from sun and dirt. The shape of this headdress became very ornate especially when the tradition of wearing it extended to and was adorned for weddings. The women would stitch intricate lace work and beads to the stiffened fabric base of the peasant "hat". This traditional headdress was adopted as the official court headdress in the Ruskian Imperial Court and the stitching of certain decorative elements then became huge diamonds and expensive pearls.

Here two Ruskian girls can be seen wearing the traditional fabric, bead and lace ornamented headdress.

 Eventually the traditional fabric base was completely abandoned and tiaras made in gold and platinum were manufactured as a whole from metal. The reason why I like this particular style of tiara, is that its shape reminds me of a halo. To me this is the ultimate symbolic reason for wearing head jewellery, to allude to a halo and the kokoshnik is the most successful interpretation although not an option to be worn by a man. Men will have to stick to crowns and coronets. More on that at a later stage.

Here we see Her Imperial Highness The Grand Duchess Xenia of Ruskiana wearing the Grey Pearl and Aquamarine Kokoshnik of the Imperial Collection.

A little more normal-like tiara, but still kokoshnik inspired is the Baguette Sapphire Tiara also worn by Grand Duchess Xenia. 

This style was so successful that its influence can be seen in most tiaras but in varying degrees until it can be qualified as a total kokoshnik, like the Aquamarines above. The Swann Royal Jewellery Collection also sports what classifies as kokoshnik inspired tiaras.

Here we have the famous "Swann Diamond" set in the center of this tiara and its smaller "brother" stone in the necklace. This set hasn't been worn since the last Duchess of Swann wore it before the Bloody Revolution.

 This obvious kokoshnik is called the Ruskian Ruby Tiara and was ordered for the first Duke of Swann's wife, Princess Rose in the hey day of Royalty before the great war.

My personal taste in jewellery will hopefully become more clear over time but I also wish to inspire and educate others even though they must develop and express their own tastes.

To be continued.