May 20, 2006

Starving, but Glamorous

It seems that each week I discover some new and irresistible product for which I swear I'll allocate all future disposable funds: most recently it was the Astaire-Rogers Collection, then it was a subscription to Turner Classic Movies' monthly Now Playing Guide, and soon after, I found myself glassy-eyed while thumbing through stacks of old Photoplay magazines in our local consignment shop (nothing can prepare you for the scent of those musty pages, the ridiculous captions on odd celebrity photo-ops, or the hilariously tame gossip sections). But my newest find is by far the most dangerous and alluring, as it combines two of my favorite things in the world: movies and sparkly things. Okay, classic cinema and vintage jewelry - or, more specifically, vintage-looking jewelry inspired by classic cinema. Yes, The Hollywood Royalty Collection is destined to ruin my financial life by inciting within me a need to own all of its dazzling costume jewelry.

The HRC was established by the House of Windsor Group, an organization of skilled craftsmen and jewelers who took upon themselves the task of replicating the crown jewels of Britain's Royal Family to showcase throughout the world. The group soon segued into replicating Hollywood-inspired jewels, as America has no such monarchy, and often refers to some of its greatest actors of the past as "Hollywood Royalty". You can find delish diamonds just like those sported by Audrey Hepburn and Jean Harlow, pearls like Deborah Kerr's, simulated rubies worthy of Veronica Lake's jewelry box, and stunning cocktail rings you can claim you borrowed from Myrna Loy. All of HRC's breathtaking designs are inspired by both publicity stills and actual movies of some of Hollywood's most glamorous, and their current collection includes over 150 individual pieces (mostly women's, but a few Bogie-worthy items for the boys, too).

My particular faves include a ravishing ruby ring in the Bette Davis collection; a beautiful cognac-colored rock set in gold, inspired by Marlene Deitrich; and a reproduction of the stunning emerald ring that graced Norma Shearer's hand in 1938's Marie Antoinette.

Now my only problem is finding a decent fur to sport all these gorgeous rocks with. Oh, and, affording them.