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Then and Now: From Elizabeth Taylor to Lady Gaga, Floral Jewelry Symbolizes Hope for the Future

Lady Gaga wears a floral necklace from Tiffany & Co.’s Blue Book, originally designed in 1958.

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Then and Now: From Elizabeth Taylor to Lady Gaga, Floral Jewelry Symbolizes Hope for the Future
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FLORAL NECKLACES ARE not new — there have been interpretations of them throughout history culminating in the The Language of Flowers during the Victorian era — basically a dictionary of botanical meanings for every bloom. It was a time when people couldn’t speak directly of their affections and jewelers created pieces to represent the sentiment and symbols. Since then, flowers have been a motif that the jewelers from renowned houses to independent designers have drawn upon. Such was the case of the necklace that Lady Gaga wore to the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards, which was originally designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. in 1958. But more on that later.

The flowers are optimistic, signaling happy times ahead. We don’t know if Lady Gaga’s stylist chose the necklace for this reason or if it was simply a matter of the glamorous way it complemented the rest of her look. Immediately when I saw it, I was reminded of another necklace that signaled joy, and an emblem for a future that was bright and positive — Elizabeth Taylor wearing the Van Cleef & Arpels’ Reine Marguerite necklace. It was actually designed as a suite, and Taylor wore the earrings but not the brooch when, in 1993, she was presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 65th Academy Awards. The honor was for her ongoing commitment to the war on AIDS. The Marguerite (which means daisies) necklace was comprised of pavé-set white diamond petals, pavé-set yellow pistils and chrysophrase leaves — more colorful than Lady Gaga’s stunner but representative of the love and purity of heart (symbolism of the daisy) that Taylor possessed as she continued to fight in the face of adversity. It was the first time Taylor borrowed a jewel and did not wear her own mesmerizing pieces. But after the ceremony, she decided to buy the suite as a keepsake to always remember the special evening. It eventually went up for auction with Taylor’s other jewels, which all raise funds for Aids Research.

The Flowers and Leaves necklace Lady Gaga wore is from Tiffany & Co.’s 2022 Blue Book collection. It was originally designed by Jean Schlumberger in 1958 for Tiffany & Co. The company has consistently gone back to Schlumberger’s archive of designs and drawings since he left the renowned brand in the latter part of the 1970s. The necklace has a three dimensional feeling and is set in in platinum and yellow gold as many of Schlumberger’s original designs were. He captured nature’s irregularities with grace and elegance. Although these flowers seem to be a mix of different blooms, the necklace sparkles with life and the hopefulness like the Marguerite necklace did.

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