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Famous Jewelry In The Movies, Vol. 3: Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Famous Jewelry In The Movies, Vol. 3: Breakfast At Tiffany's
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Famous Jewelry In The Movies, Vol. 3: “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”

We couldn’t have a series on jewelry in the movies without talking about “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”. I mean, really, Tiffany’s is in the title of the movie! And apparently, they were thrilled with the publicity when the movie came out in 1961, although we have to wonder if they really even needed any publicity. They were pretty well set as an NYC icon by then.

The Jewelry

Famous Jewelry In The Movies, Vol. 3: Breakfast At Tiffany's
Photo: Paramount Pictures

On to the jewelry – There are really three pieces to talk about in this film.

1) The now iconic five strand pearl necklace with a diamond embellishment (maybe a brooch) at the front The necklace compliments her LBD (little black dress) by Givenchy beautifully. Did you know that Givenchy made the dress specifically for her body and it was so form-fitting, they actually had to make two. One for standing in front of Tiffany’s in the wee hours of early morning and the other, which had a long slit up the leg, for walking. The necklace was designed by Roger Scemama. Scemama was a French jewelry designer who frequently collaborated with the haute-couture design houses including Givenchy, Dior, Lanvin, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Famous Jewelry In The Movies, Vol. 3: Breakfast At Tiffany's
Photo: Paramount Pictures

2) The maxi necklace worn with yet another LBD at the house party. This dress was also designed by Givenchy (his second for the film) and it’s made in a cloqué silk that’s form fitting until it flares out at Holly’s/Audrey’s knees. The bib necklace worn in this scene is almost certainly costume (glass beads, plastic pearls and black painted enamel chains) but oh what a necklace it is. Quite the statement piece. Although its design has never been formally attributed to any one designer, it’s widely believed to be the creation of the film’s costume designer, Edith  Head.

Famous Jewelry In The Movies, Vol. 3: Breakfast At Tiffany's
Photo: Paramount Pictures

3) The final piece is one worn in the pivotal “breakdown” scene, where Holly comes home with her new beau, José da Silva Pereira (played by José Luis de Vilallonga) after a night on the town to find a telegram telling Holly that her beloved brother Fred has been killed in a Jeep accident while at war. The contrast of her bubble gum pink dress worn in this scene, with her absolute despair is palpable. But just before she gets the fateful telegram, you can see her in the dress and a lovely pink rhinestone tiara, propped high in her swept up chignon.

Fun facts: Holly’s pink dress from the aforementioned breakdown scene was auctioned off in 2007 for a stunning $192,000 –  more than six times its pre-auction estimate. And one of the iconic LBDs that Givenchy designed? It was auctioned off in 2006 for $947,000 – a whopping seven times its reserve price.

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