The new issue of Harper’s Bazaar provoked a double take on my part. Not that the issue is a combined June/July issue, which I believe is a new development in the magazine’s publication schedule (a way not only to save costs and give staffers some time off, but also to build anticipation during the slow summer season by holding back all but the tiniest taste of the upcoming fall season of clothes).
Not that it features the actress Katherine Heigl – she is lovely.
Rather, it’s all about the jewelry. Are we about to experience a sea change in one of the biggest styling rules that has permeated fashion over the last several years? Has Harper’s Bazaar fired the first volley at the “rule” that one should not wear anything matchy-matchy, and, more precisely, a matched suite of jewelry?
Heigl is shown in a dress that establishes that minimalism is back again. The silk dress is simple, unadorned, beige and strapless by Ralph Lauren Black Label, with only a narrow Hermes belt with minimal hardware to add a finishing touch.
But with that minimalist ensemble – Ah! A diamond necklace and bracelet suite by Van Cleef & Arpels! A set that consists of two pieces that are an obvious match. The epitome of elegant and expensive taste (the necklace priced at $265,000 and the bracelet at $172,000).
After all, it’s not as if Van Cleef & Arpels couldn’t easily have provided any number of bracelets to mix and match with the diamond choker selected for Heigl to wear. The matching set was a purposeful styling decision.
Have the magazine stylings finally caught up with the ads run by fine jewelry advertisers like Le Vian, whose regular ads in the magazine depict suites of matching colored diamond and gemstone jewelry, or Assael International, whose ad in June/July issue features jewelry punctuated with matching butterflies?