Thursday, April 26, 2012

Olga Paley's Corsage Ornament... or Hat Ornament!

Because of that MFA exhibit, I've been very interested in the idea of corsage ornaments, which as far as I'm concerned basically boil down to monster brooches, sometimes articulated or sometimes shaped to match the neckline of a dress. It seems to me you can call them any number of things, but they are just a category of sparkly ornament that you usually wear somewhere on your bodice. But something I've been learning (and which delights me, I must say) is that once you have a purpose-build piece of sparkle, nobody seems to care if you wear it somewhere else on your person. Got a cool necklace? Let's wear it as a tiara! Nice tiara... I'm going to drape it down the front of my dress. What a pretty brooch. I'm going to pin it to my hair. Oh yeah! Case in point, here is a picture of Olga Paley's Cartier Corsage Ornament/ Stomacher/ Massive Sparkly Brooch Thingy. And then there it is in her hat (in about 1912-1913)! Why not?
 Of course, now we're going to speculate on things I am not sure about. I know that the hat ornament is the Cartier stomacher. But what about her necklace? Doesn't it look a lot like a convertible fringe necklace? I don't know if she had access to one, so I cannot guess at the likelihood, but since everyone else likes to wear fringes as necklaces, why not? Another thing, I am pretty sure she owned one of those tiaras that are large diamond-encrusted circles, and you can hang drop gems in the windows (big honking diamonds? emeralds? pear shaped pearls? oh yes!). Is it just me, or does it look like she has one of those tacked to the front of her bodice?
There you have it! A serious lesson in alternative jewelry uses. Also, extra credit for the delicious fur, fringe, and bow ornament on the cape. I'm working on a bow-brooch post, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment