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January 20th was a day of days!  Not only did Barack Obama take the oath of office as America’s first black president, but America’s Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, thrilled the Inaugural audiences and international air waves with a magnificent rendition of My Country ‘Tis of Thee


What no one could have figured, however, was the immense popularity that one fashion item worn by Miss Franklin that day would garner: The item was her hat! And oh, what a hat it was! 


 “It’s a media and cyberspace sensation,” gushed Bill McGraw of the Detroit Free Press.  


The heather-grey wool felt hat was embellished with Swarovski crystals and featured a big-stand up bow. It was more than noticeable; it was impressive.  You might say it had presence. And didn’t the country know it!


The Idea is A Hat!  You can modify the Franklin sensation with your own taste and come up with an equally individualistic look for yourself. Consider:





  • A jaunty grey fedora or soft wool dressy cloche (just add a bow for extra Franklin-zip);






                                            Sales Sensation


Minutes after Franklin finished singing, the phone started ringing at Mr. Song Millinery in Detroit, where Franklin bought the chapeau for $179.  Hundreds were sold in the ensuing twenty four hours. And the demand continues…


“People are calling from as far away as England asking for the hat,” Mr. Song said. 


The hats Song is now offering customers are slightly different from the customized hat Franklin wore, but they are no less charming. Apparently, Song’s hats are all very special. The milliner has been selling to Franklin for years, and says he sees hats as an art form.  “For me,” he declares, “hats define culture.”


Franklin has reportedly had museum requests for the hat as well.  But she isn’t sure she wants to hand it over.  After all, this is a major piece of memorabilia and she helped make it so.  As Song concludes, the hat “has taken on a life of its own.” 








A SPECTACULAR COLLECTION of diamonds and evening gowns was shown off at the recent Screen Actors Awards, worn by some of the most dazzling actresses on the Hollywood scene.  The stage was ablaze with deep saturated color as award-winners literally danced across it with one dress more fabulous than the other. But nothing quite compared to the flash and sparkle of diamonds, diamonds, diamonds!   


Freida Pinto (The Slumdog Millionaire) wore a Marchesa full-skirted smoky blue dress with a long, loose back chiffon-like panel. Adding light and passion were gorgeous diamond accessories: a stunning diamond bracelet and handsome dangling diamond earrings.


Kate Winslet (The Reader) wore what she called “an amazing color,” a Narcisco Rodriguez gown in deep purple-blue. Reflecting brilliant color all around were double strand hanging diamond earrings and a delicate diamond bracelet, all by Chopard.  Romanoff-level chic!


YOU CAN GET THE LOOK WITHOUT THE COST.  Look for CZs that defy identification as anything less than diamond royalty!





Lavish CZ necklace set features opulent design with Hollywood showtime brilliance.


                                       Gemstone Bag


A brilliant emerald green off-one-shoulder dress by Emanuel Ungaro was worn by Christina Applegate (Samantha Who).  She was gorgeously dressed with a long, below-the-waist chain necklace, a narrow diamond bracelet, and big but delicate hoop earrings embedded with single stones. The charming actress, recovering from breast cancer, also carried a green gemstone-decorated clutch bag.  Wow!


Holly Hunter (Saving Grace) wore a wildly hot pink strapless dress by Reen Acra and accessorized it with class, and then some.  The super-slim blond beauty wore gorgeous diamond pendant earrings and – hear this! – a 10.80 carat diamond ring.  The jewelry was by Fred Leighton, the well-known California jeweler who always “knocks you dead” with marvelous designs. 


Viola Davis (Doubt) wore the happiest color of the night, a sun-bright off-one-shoulder yellow creation by David Meister. Her jewelry included a wide yellow beaded bracelet and a yellow-gold ring. She carried a small gemstone-encrusted clutch.                      


YOU CAN GET THE LOOK WITHOUT THE COST.  Add the magnificence of real crystal to your next shopping list. For immediate attention, look at:


                                     Obama Inspired


With all this color you might think everyone forgot white.  They didn’t.  Picking up where Michele Obama left off, Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married) turned out in a dazzling white column gown by Azzaro.  The dress featured a wide bejeweled waistline that may have been a belt, who knows? 


Hathaway also wore a heavy crystal encrusted necklace at the neckline of the dress; it, too, may have been costume embellishment rather than free-standing jewelry. One thing we know for sure was jewelry: a lovely slim diamond or crystal bracelet.  Glitzy as it may sound, the outfit came off as quietly dramatic.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Thursday, February 5th, 2009

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