It’s no secret that we all sit in anticipation waiting for award season. Sure, we’re interested in who’s taking home the statue. But who are we kidding? The red carpet arrivals have turned into their own show. What celebrity is wearing what designer is the question everyone wants to know. While the lavish gowns are major, the glamorous jewelry celebrities wear on the red carpet have been just has important as their gowns. But the red carpet has changed over the years. The spectacular gemstones that early Hollywood icons wore on the red carpet were not borrowed from jewelry houses, but from their very own personal collections. What’s even less known is that early Hollywood stars also wore their brilliant pieces in their films. Hollywood actress Marlene Dietrich wore her famed emeralds by Paul Flato and Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin and her Van Cleef & Arpels ruby Jarretière bracelet in the films in which she starred. Beth Bernstein’s latest book, If These Jewels Could Talk: The Legends Behind Celebrity Gems beautifully illustrates the history behind Hollywood and its jewels.
A captivating look into the relationship between the silver screen, stunning jewels, and the celebrities, If These Jewels Could Talk is more than just a tell-all about celebrity riches. It is an extensive look at the relationship between jewelry and the film industry starting in the 1920s. Bernstein first gives a synopsis of famous cinematic jewels, focusing on one gemstone at a time. Then, with enchanting chapters like Sapphire Sirens and Emerald Enchantresses, the book takes you on a journey that provides fascinating insight into the intriguing worlds of early Hollywood royalty.
While the book is filled with pictures and illustrations of jewels and their famous owners, anecdotes of actresses such as Merle Oberon, Paulette Goddard, Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor are also included. Bernstein wanted to focus on how the jewelry worn in the films sometimes developed the character. Compelling stories about Elizabeth Taylor’s La Peregrina pearl, The Cartier Daisy diamond engagement ring from the first The Great Gatsby film and The Duchess of Windsor’s holly brooch from King Edward VIII are included in the book. The book also highlights iconic figures that are not actresses including Coco Chanel, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Michelle Obama.
Well known in high-end jewelry circles, Beth Bernstein is a seasoned jewelry editor. This book is twenty years in the making, says the author, who played dress up with her mother and grandmother while watching old movies. If you have a love affair with jewelry, glamour, old Hollywood and films, like I do, If These Jewels Could Talk: The Legends Behind Celebrity Gems will become your favorite new read.
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