Lana Turner’s Diamonds and Turquoise Jewels in ‘Madame X’



A fallen woman accessorized in scarlet? So puritanical. And definitely not Lana Turner in the 1966 melodrama Madame X. She plays Holly Parker, a poor girl who married rich, and got an absentee husband and a malicious mother-in-law. Holly turns to playboy Phil (Ricardo Montalban, pictured with Turner). He dies accidentally. Blackmail, drinking, debauchery, and one hell of a downfall ensue. Oh, the tears!

Here Holly chats with her inamorato less-than-innocently in a black cocktail dress. On her chest: diamonds and turquoise. The conventionally set, but unconventionally hued, piece and its matching pendant earrings are from American jeweler David Webb.

“David was about color,” Dianne Batista, the company’s archives manager, says of the designer in the 1960s. “He thought, everyone is buying coral now, so he went with turquoise, and took the style of a very traditional drop diamond necklace and converted it with turquoise.” Webb believed the brilliant blue gemstones were becoming on everyone. He once told a customer, recalls Batista, “If this doesn’t match your eyes, I don’t know what will.”