My Paste Jewels!

I recently re-watched The September Issue . . . in part to catch a glimpse of the beautiful necklaces that Anna Wintour wears, which I remembered quite vividly from my first viewing of the film.

It’s a fun film — about the creative process, project management, workplace power struggles — and my favorite parts show editor Grace Coddington at work as she devises the most beautiful, imaginative, fantastical photo shoots.
The Directrice wearing paste

My interest in Anna Wintour’s necklaces is not singular
The necklaces did not disappoint, prompting me to get on-line and search for “necklaces worn by Anna Wintour September Issue.”
AnnaWintourNecklaces are a thing. Lots of people are looking, and sellers have accommodated by calling them Anna Wintour Necklaces. So that was easy. Apparently Ms. Wintour’s necklaces are antique Georgian pieces made of semi-precious stones like garnet, amethyst, and citrine. I think the genius is in the combinations she wears and how she pairs them with her modern clothes, which are often patterned or textured dresses.

Unfortunately, hers are very expensive. But fakes — or in the parlance of the period, paste — can be had!
I found these on Etsy.
Anxious Mouse is having fakes here

A word or two about my dress seems warranted.
This dress combines so many of my favorite things: abstract print that could be read as polka dots or animal camouflage; apron styling; crisp cotton that crinkles when I walk.
Note the front is longer than the back. I have uncertainty about this silhouette in general, but think that this particular fabrication is very graceful.
Take a good look at the hem

Come closer for a better look at the apron-like skirt.
There are no side seams holding this skirt together. Instead the front and back sections overlap and button as you see here. The lowest button hits me at the top of my thigh. To ensure against an obscene reveal at the sides, I am wearing a black slip underneath.
You can also take a better look at the hem, but I am trusting you not to peek inside my skirt

Now step back.
It’s too hot to stand so close

Sorry! You need to come closer again to appreciate the print.
And the buttons

You can better see how the dress is constructed from the back.
I was very surprised to find that this dress fit perfectly
No alterations!

To finish, the necklaces: one in pink and one that is amber-colored. This necklace style, called a collet, was popular in Georgian England. Typically a collet would feature identically-shaped stones of a single color. These necklaces are made of crystal and are relatively light — certainly much lighter than stones would be.
Aren’t these fun?

Yes, fun
Very fun

These necklaces are thoughtfully designed. The designer uses off-set loops to link the stones so that they lie flat against neck and do not swivel and reveal the back. The stones, many of which are vintage crystals and rhinestones from Czechoslovakia and Austria, come in a rainbow of colors and several sizes with four different plating finishes for the settings. I want, like, a half dozen of them.
A line from The September Issue has been running through my mind all week. At a staff meeting, Andre Leon Talley bemoans the recent designer collections crying, “It’s a famine of beauty. My eyes are starving for beauty.” I can’t stop saying famine of beauty to myself.
Dress: Marni; Shoes: Fly London; Necklaces: Collet necklaces in antique gold finish from Dames a la Mode from Etsy; Bag: Kate Spade

6 thoughts on “My Paste Jewels!”

  1. Again, with your penchant for apron-like garments, you find a lovely dress with also a zipper pull that would be handy for dressing alone. Barring gusts of wind coming from behind, the dress would be easy wearing! Great outfit!

    Love that movie too.

  2. I’m getting one of those Etsy necklaces! I’ve already saved a dozen or so into my favourites! Your outfit is very good. I like the way you wear grey (the b&w print dress looks grey from a distance) and the ambery stones are lovely together. I’d always thought grey and cool toned jewellery was the best but then many many post ago you wore a gold necklace or possibly necklaces with grey clothing, and I loved that and do that myself often now.

  3. I like the entire look and especially, those beautiful necklaces done as they are with that dress. It is a great statement in its entiret. Interesting about the paste jewels.

  4. I love how you’re wearing the necklaces here but they will also light up a dark crewneck jumper come cooler weather.

  5. It was so interesting to find out more about this style of necklace, I’ve never heard the terms “paste” or “collet” before. Despite my ignorance, I’ve managed to acquire several in this vein from J.Crew over the years. Pieces like these always make me smile and are real outfit makers.


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