Fashion columnist and influencer Joanne Hegarty on her timeless style icon.
There are some rare people who have that effortless It-factor when it comes to fashion. Many were born long before social media but their timeless style transcends generations.
One of my favourites is Italian model-turned-jewellery designer Elsa Peretti, whose revolutionary pieces are still sold by Tiffany and who has become an Instagram icon in 2022 – even though she died last year aged 80.
In the 1970s, she was the poster girl for Studio 54 decadence after arriving in New York with, she said, ‘a black eye from my lover, who didn’t want me to go’. She wore her dark hair in a pixie cut, washed it in champagne to keep it glossy, sunbathed daily to top up her tan and chain-smoked.
Her life-changing collaboration with Tiffany began in 1974. Today the store’s owners – luxury group LVMH – may be busy overhauling the brand, increasing its focus on high-end jewellery, but Elsa’s designs are still key, with pieces such as her bone cuff bracelets regularly appearing on its Instagram pages. Meanwhile, Hailey Bieber and Venus Williams both wore her designs to this year’s Grammys and Oscars.
My favourite pieces are among her very first – the bottle and jug necklaces I spotted watching the Netflix series about her best friend, fashion designer Halston. It was with his help that she first brokered the Tiffany deal that made her arguably the most successful jewellery designer ever. She renegotiated the deal in 2012, receiving £31 million in a one-off payment – worth every last cent, the new owners must think.
READ MORE: A new Tiffany exhibition is coming to London
Recently, I discovered a Vogue feature from 1976 shot inside Elsa’s New York penthouse with her looking, as usual, effortlessly chic in a kimono. As the feature said, she’s the only person who can arrive at a dinner party in a black cashmere jumpsuit with a rope of diamonds around her neck and look terrific ‘carrying a brown paper bag as her evening purse’.
It’s incredible that Elsa’s legacy is still inspiring a new generation nearly half a century on. I’m off to find myself a kimono and wash my hair in champagne.
BE MORE ELSA…
I like the idea of wafting around the house or poolside this summer like Elsa Peretti in a kimono, and am loving this silk design.
It’s time to swap your dark sunglasses for white thick-rimmed ones. On a recent trip to LA,
I noticed everyone who was anyone wearing them, and I’m currently coveting this pair.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?
Forget Cinders’ slippers – Coperni’s glass bags are the new It-accessory. They may be more art than handbag, and can barely fit a lipstick, but the A-list are crazy for them. Watch this space for where to buy one
The humble leather rope belt is big business at Cos. ‘Customers have gone crazy for them to wear over dresses and blazers. Both the white and black have been huge hits,’ says an insider. They’re selling out almost as soon as stock arrives, so if you see one, best snap it up.
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