Susannah Lovis

Tiara

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In recent years, a series of royal weddings has placed the tiara at the cutting edge of fashionable jewellery. In the past, tiaras were worn almost everyday by important women, usually princesses, to denote their rank. Today, the tiara as a head adornment is in evidence everywhere: at weddings, at parties and numerous other occasions. The tiara consists of a head circlet to which decorative crowns are attached, giving each tiara its own character. The tiara frames the face, lending the wearer its particular cachet. At a practical level, the tiara keeps the hair in place and serves as an anchor for veils and other drapery, and also to set the theme for additional jewellery. However, a beautiful tiara without a veil can add a purity to the finest wedding gown. Many brides choose to uphold tradition and wear a family heirloom for their nuptials but more and more often, women are choosing to have their wedding tiaras custom-made.

When choosing your tiara, bear in mind the occasion for which you are having it made. Most likely, it is an adornment for your wedding day. The tiara falls broadly into two types, traditional and modern. Traditional tiaras are the most regal of all ornaments, with the crowns fashioned into florets and usually, shorter florets flanking a high tiara crown in the centre. The reason for the popularity of this style is that the tiara is descended from the genuine floral circlets with which women used to adorn their heads, in ancient times. Indeed, the crowns on many traditional tiaras resemble actual flowers, while many more floral references are stylised and less literal. Bridal tiaras made in either fashion are always harmonious and beautiful. The crowns of the modern or “art deco” style of tiara are more abstracted and geometric, but arranged as harmoniously as those of the traditional tiara. Stars, sun rays and teardrops are evident on art deco tiaras. Modern or traditional, tiaras are usually made of silver and adorned with precious or semiprecious stones, the diamond tiara being the most highly-prized and beautiful. Other, more modernistic ornaments are available, for example, eclectic tiaras with the crowns in varying lengths.

How to Wear a Tiara

When choosing your tiara, consider the shape of your face, your intended hairstyle and whatever features that your very special gown has. If possible, choose your tiara in collaboration with your hair stylist. If your long hair is going to flow loose on your shoulders on the day, you can balance your profile by choosing a tiara with high crowns. If you have a long face, consider a tiara with a rounded profile, which will add width and balance to the overall effect. If you intend to wear your hair piled upon your head, the tiara should sit one-third of the way between the front of your hairline, and the apex or topmost point of your hairstyle. If you wear a fringe, this hairline begins just above your eyes or wherever your fringe ends. This “one-third, two-thirds” placement lends a pleasing and elegant perspective to the profile. If your wedding gown is adorned with pearls, you may want to ornament your tiara with pearls dropped between the crowns. Ultimately, whatever tiara you choose and how you wear it, is up to you.

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