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10th November 2021

Tiffany & Co: it’s all about the Fifth Avenue-inspired eyewear…

‘The only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and proud look of it: nothing very bad could happen to you there.’ Holly Golightly

‘Love is the diamond that the jewellery and art decorate.’

The Carters

This report on our Blankstone Brand of the Month is by our resident style reporter, Nancy Buckland-Kirk.

Trying to sum up the work of Tiffany and Company, it’s history and it’s legacy is a bit of a daunting task. However, as it is getting close to the season when any style-lover is hoping for that signature blue box, tied up with that legendary white ribbon, I wanted to take a closer look at what this jewellery house is all about, and what it represents in 2021.

When it comes to past glories, few can compete with the grandeur and allure of Tiffany and Co. Founded in 1838, it really made its way under Charles Tiffany, and in 1878, he purchased the remarkable, 128 carat Tiffany Diamond. Under Louis Comfort Tiffany, his son and heir, the label flourished during the Art Deco-led roaring 1920’s, and by 1940, Tiffany & Co. found its home at its new flagship store at 200 Fifth Avenue, in Manhattan, which remains the centrepiece of this company’s stronghold.  The wealthy, the landed gentry, the nouveau riche and the most established royal families coveted Tiffany’s diamonds, fine jewellery and other luxury goods.

As time moved on, and fashion and style became more accessible, Tiffany became one of the jewellery houses which embraced the era of celebrity collaborations: Paloma Picasso brought her own sense of style when she worked with the brand from 1980. Since then, it has grown, and changed, and introduced more affordable lines, but during the past decade in particular it has simply sky-rocketed. It means so much to so many of us: Tiffany’s was the first landmark I wanted to see on my maiden trip to New York, and I still have my first Tiffany necklace.

As the festive season approaches, and we all look to Tiffany & Co. to feature in our dreams, it is in the arms of a truly modern couple to front their One Love campaign: step forward The Carters, or Beyoncé and Jay-Z, as we usually know them. The accompanying film starring music’s most famous couple, filmed on Super 8, shows possibly the most luxurious date night ever: Beyoncé is bedecked in the Tiffany Diamond, sings Moon River to her beloved husband, but also adds some low-key reality, as there’s another NYC staple involved: pizza. And as this is the Blankstone Blog, I had to check out the eyewear and it is magnificent: there is nothing subdued or downplayed to see. It is exactly what you’d expect to see this talented, stylish, and accomplished couple wearing.

And the Tiffany Diamond? Well, it doesn’t come out to play very often. Lady Gaga wore it last, for the red carpet at The Oscars, in 2019, when she won for Best Song from A Star is Born.

Before that, there was a larger gap: Tiffany Diamond’s most famous outing was on Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly, for the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which this year celebrates 60 years since its launch. The images, or stills, of the movie are timeless and simply changed fashion. Gone were the post-war ballgowns of Christian Dior’s New Look. In came the clean lines, and simple-but-genius tailoring of Hubert de Givenchy. Before Breakfast, most film costumes were designed by famous studio names such as Edith Head, who concentrated on the silver screen. However, Audrey Hepburn wanted to bring haute couture to the world of film, and in doing so, forged a relationship with Givenchy which lasted throughout both of their careers.

For the contemporary jewellery lover, the Tiffany T range is exquisitely beautiful. The stacked, hinged bangles make a slightly casual style statement.

New brand ambassador, Hailey Beiber, brings a more street-chic look, blending Tiffany T with Tiffany Hardware. I like the edge she brings, and it’s a really up-to-date way of wearing jewellery.

Of course, I’m going to talk about eyewear because it would be rude not to, and for the Tiffany & Co. lover there’s a lot to make your heart leap. The whole collection mirrors the beauty of the brand’s jewellery legacy: the famous duck-egg blue is featured, the delicate jewel-like embellishments add a touch of luxe, and the made-in-Italy lens technology makes them more than just fashionable specs. These are my current festive faves:

I absolutely love these Tiffany 2198B optical frames. I think a hint of tortoiseshell always adds a touch of timeless, and the tiny blue tips ensure everyone knows you love a little Tiffany in your life.

These Tiffany 4169 sunglasses are a little less subtle, and make more of a statement. They are just the thing for striding up Fifth Avenue (or Castle Street, if you are in Liverpool!) to look a little bit elusive, and also keep out the winter rays. Note to everyone: sunglasses are a year round thing. I have prescription lenses in mine, so they don’t get tucked away.

If you are a Breakfast fan, you will know that Tiffany and Co. eyewear wasn’t around in 1961, but I have picked these Tiffany 4148 shades to give that big bold, Audrey feel to your eyewear. These are simply beautiful, and the detailing raises them above your average sunglasses: it’s all about the detailing for me.

Here’s another tip if you have landed here: sunglasses make a brilliant gift if you know the wearer well, and if you want to ensure they really get the frames they want then Blankstone Opticians do gift vouchers to any value. (If my husband is reading this: it’s a gift hint!)

I think that anyone who receives a Tiffany & Co. blue box knows they are in for a treat, and these are collectible pieces which you can wear, enjoy, and pass down. And while I have my eye on a few Tiffany beauties, as a writer, there is one which is always at the top of my list: it sits right above Smythson of Bond Street stationery.

I think I’ve been good this year, so if the gentleman who spends the festive season wearing fur-trimmed red, rather than blue, sees this, make mine a Tiffany & Co. Elsa Perreti Padova Letter Opener.

The Tiffany Diamond remains priceless: some things you can’t replicate, replace or imitate. And in 2021, you can wear Tiffany & Co. for every occasion, but I’m definitely still with Audrey on this one: there is nothing more glamorous to wear for breakfast. And I’ll definitely donning my Tiffany glasses to write my New Year ‘thank you’ letters.

Nancy is a noted fashion writer, and now contributes her own style slant for our Blog every month: eyewear, trends and beyond.

This November the lovely team at Blankstone have put together not one, but two prizes, to celebrate their Brand of the Month. The first prize is a beautiful Tiffany & Co. Snap Lock Key Chain, which comes with its own signature blue gift-boxed packaging. And the second prize is this amazing book by Sam Wasson to celebrate 60 years of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Worth £145, it’s the perfect present duo for any style-lover. The competition is open to U.K. residents over the age of 18, for the month of November 2021 only.

Head over to the Blankstone Instagram feed below.

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Additional images by @tiffanyandco