Sarah Jessica Parker, the actress best known for her role as Carrie Bradshaw in the TV show, Sex in the City, is well known for her personal style. As the advertising "face" behind several fashion brands, she is one of today's trendsetters. Jewelry and clothing are intrinsically bound together so I do notice of what fashionable people wear. Although many of us would not slavishly follow every new jewelry or clothing fad, there are many who do. We call them fashionistas.

Perhaps it may surprise you to learn fashion trendsetters and fashionistas are not a new phenomenon. All through history, there have been those who led and those who avidly followed.

In the 19th century, an influential woman of fashion was Empress Eugénie of France. She was the first to wear the enormous cage crinolines in 1855 and when she abandoned them years later, women changed their skirt silhouettes too. She was a fascinating and pretty woman, married to a really ugly man who could afford to indulge her obsession with diamonds (see my past post on her story). Some say opal got its bad luck notoriety because she didn't like them.

Then there were the rich English fashionistas in the early days of Queen Victoria's reign who rushed to buy Etruscan style jewelry made by Castellani based on real jewelry found in archaeological digs. Their excessive buying sprees was even lampooned by Punch magazine (see my past post).

So watching the people who other people watch is a great way to keep abreast of jewelry trends.

Wikipedia : Sarah Jessica Parker
Wikipedia : Eugénie de Montijo
The Beading Gem's Journal