Coco Chanel in Verdura

If anyone understood the importance of accessorizing, it was the woman who deified the little black dress. Hence the Wonder Woman–esque cuffs—made by Fulco di Verdura—Coco Chanel dons in this 1935 photo. “The body is white lacquer,” says Verdura owner and CEO Ward Landrigan. “The emblems, the Maltese crosses, are gold and precious stones.” The French couturier and the Sicilian duke-turned-designer met through Cole Porter’s fashionable wife, Linda. “Chanel invited him to Paris, and he ended up designing her jewelry,” Landrigan says. She must have been partial to the cuffs; she had six or eight pair. “He probably had the idea because of the way Chanel dressed. It’s black jersey, that dress, but without the cuffs it doesn’t have the oomph. Verdura dressed women—he didn’t just make jewelry.”

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