07 December 2012

My Ultimate Tiara Collection: Princess Marie-Chantal's Fringe Tiara

Princess Marie-Chantal's Fringe Tiara
One of the tiaras at the disposal of Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece is a classic diamond fringe tiara that she’s been wearing since early in her marriage. Apparently it was purchased by her mother and is intended for Marie-Chantal's oldest daughter, Maria-Olympia, but is being used by Marie-Chantal in the meantime (thanks to all that corrected me here).
Princess Marie-Chantal
This is a fringe in the purest form of the design: the tallest uprights end in a diamond point, and they alternate with lower spikes of a different design. The design gained popularity in Russia, where it mimicked traditional fabric kokoshnik hairpieces, and spread to tiara collections around the world. The tiaras created in this design are innumerable, and many still exist today. There are variations (see: the Kokoshnik Tiara, the Baden Fringe Tiara, etc.), and some of them can be removed from their frames to create necklaces (I don’t believe we’ve seen this one used as a necklace). But when the design is as classic as Marie-Chantal’s, it can be nearly impossible to tell the tiara apart from its fringe counterparts.
More classic royal fringe tiaras (and necklaces, as in the case of Princess Caroline)
Fringes are something of an acquired taste; I know there are many of you out there that can’t abide by any sort of spike in your tiaras whatsoever. But I love them, and this is my current favorite - it's well balanced and plenty sparkly. All truly great collections require one of these basic designs, in my opinion, and so does my imaginary one.

Does your ultimate tiara collection include a fringe?

Photos: Getty Images/Corbis/PA