People sometimes think that there are limited occasions on which one can wear a tiara, but this is not always the case
Debutants wear crowns at the Viennese Ball, which help them shine even more beautifully. Here are fun facts you may not know about this fashion detail:
Wearing tiaras today is not a question of rank
In ancient Greece garland-like hair ornaments were used to adorn the heads of sacred statues, given to athletes and warriors to honour victories, and worn by people of high rank at weddings and feasts.
The Medieval period crown-shaped jewels, or coronals, were worn by brides of all ranks, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that tiaras as we might know them today became more widely worn. Perhaps the peak of the tiara’s popularity, however, was from the 1870s to just before the First World War, when diamonds were plentiful following the discovery of new sources in South Africa, and hairstyles were suitably voluminous.
In the past 20 years there has been a renewed appreciation for this type of jewel, fuelled by various high-profile exhibitions and celebrity weddings. Wearing tiaras today is not a question of rank, but a matter of judging whether it is appropriate for the occasion.
When should tiaras be worn?
Weddings, white-tie dinners and balls and occasions of state are all traditional events to which one might wear a tiara. Customarily, tiaras were only worn by married women and given to a bride on her wedding day. Similarly, some say that tiaras should only be worn in private residences, and not in hotels, for example, but again, this seems outmoded.
The difference between a tiara and a diadem
Tiara: a more generic, overarching term for a number of different styles of head-dress, including diadems, circlets and bandeaux.
Diadem: there are differing opinions on the exact definition of this term. In ancient Greece the word diadem denoted several different types of head ornament.
Many tiaras, particularly 19th-century examples, are highly versatile and can be worn not only as a headpiece for a very formal occasion, but can also transform into a necklace for less formal events
Which gemstones are used for tiaras?
In the late 18th and early 19th century tiaras were commonly set with a wide variety of gemstones including coral, pearls, amethyst, turquoise, topaz and citrine — sometimes with diamonds and sometimes without. Cut steel and Berlin iron…, cameos and intaglios.
Tiaras aren’t difficult to wear
People sometimes think that there are limited occasions on which one can wear a tiara, but this is not always the case. Many tiaras, particularly 19th-century examples, are highly versatile and can be worn not only as a headpiece for a very formal occasion, but can also transform into a necklace for less formal events.