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Monday, 5 March 2012

Pearls of Wisdom

As the timeless lyrics in “The Lady is a Tramp” go:
(She)“Won’t go to Harlem, in ermine and pearls” ....and she may well have her reasons not to but ...what if He... is so inclined?

When I worked for Pashion magazine , I was introduced to the magnificent creations of Giambattista Valli through my then editor S. who was crushing on him big time. We would rush backstage after the shows in Paris and try to push ourselves through the maddening crowd so that she may congratulate him personally. On one such time she asked me to take a picture of him while he was being papped with Ashley(or was it Mary Kate)Olson and that is when I first noticed the string of pearls around his neck. 

When we were out of the melee I asked S. about it and she simply shrugged it off by saying that Giambattista is known for wearing it, that he came across the pearl necklace on one of his travels to India? And has never been seen without it. 
I guess we all like to be identified by something,to have our very own personal trade mark. Just look at Karl Lagerfeld who wouldn't be who he is without his fingerless gloves, Cuban cha-cha heels and razor sharp quips. Or Victoria Beckham without Harper and Hermes balancing each other off.
I didn’t think any more about it then ...creative license works in both ways, after all. He is a slight man giving off a slight Park Avenue meets via Montenapoleone vibe. Thankfully he doesn’t seem to find the need to match his pearls other than with his talent. 

I love Marc Jacobs...but the image of this buff,tanned and gorgeous guy holding a Kelly the size of a small child is disconcerting at best if not upsetting when seeing it lying carelessly strewn on a sandy beach. Try as I might, I can't wrap my head around the fact that a guy would want a Kelly....probably the same reason why Giambattista would want a string of pearls.... 

This is so not about the “Man-ecklace” :there are plenty of men who have been wearing necklaces since the dawn of time....and have not solicited a raised eyebrow. But this is about the precious pearl necklace; a symbol of demure sophistication,of class and pedigree, of Sloane rangers and Park avenue princesses....of a culture once lost but now found...by men!? No,no,no...

A few months ago,while having my haircut, I came across an image of a handsome, sexy man in a black suit jacket,open neck crisp white shirt and  a...pearl necklace !  The man is none other than the dutch product and interior designer Marcel Wanders.

Now here is a man who ticks all the boxes: handsome: tick
Charming...sexy...exuberant,husky voiced....tick tick tick...TICK!
Wears a pearl necklace unabashedly:...erm,untick? 
In the interview he was asked by the journalist Sixtine Chapel....I mean Dubly!(sorry,it just rolled off my fingers...) about his predilection for wearing a pearl necklace. His feathers weren't ruffled in the slightest,he simply replied that:..."He has 2 necklaces that he likes to wear and has been doing so for the past 8 years." He also added that:..." he deeply regrets that in this day and age,men aren't a little more sophisticated...."
Erm...sophisticated in a Tux and Pearls???!!! Come on! Tom Ford is sophistication incarnate and he don't need no pearls,he simply oozes it.
So there we have it,one man’s idea of sophistication is another  wo-man’s need for derision.
Back to the lyrics of “The Lady is a tramp”: 
(she)... “ Won’t dish the dirt,with the rest of those girls...”
I just did...deal with it!