by Laura Compton
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE MAGAZINE- BAY WRAP
Madonna got married in one. So did Sharon Stone, Danielle
Steel, Posh Spice, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Kimberly Guilfoyle (aka Mrs.
Gavin Newsom). They're popping up lately at proms and quinceaneras, and
on screen in "Gosford Park."
question may not be who's wearing tiaras, but who isn't?
all great jewelry, tiaras originated with the Egyptians. The Romans borrowed
the style, it swept Europe and has persisted for centuries. Such lore
is splendidly displayed in the book "Tiara," by Diana Scarisbrick (Chronicle
tiara has a story, and the one pictured here is part of a compelling San
Francisco saga. It seems Napoleon bestowed upon his second wife, Archduchess
Marie Louise of Austria, a tiara of delicate pink- and yellow-gold filigree,
set with topaz stones. It was still in its original case with matching
necklace and earrings when - as Gail Anderson of San Francisco recalls
- her step- grandfather bought it in Paris. It was eventually given to
her mother, Prudence Esberg (at left, in the 1960s).
wore the tiara to the opera, when people dressed," says Anderson. It is
still occasionally worn by the family: Her sister used it to secure her
bridal veil, and a niece donned it recently for a deb ball. But mostly,
Anderson says, it "lives in the vault."
everyone does tiaras now," designer Stacie Tamaki says. She creates custom
bridal headpieces at Leiko, her studio in Campbell, and her best-seller
is a style that sparkles, but at an understated height of 3/8- to 1/2-
the non-bride, and for those not on a Tiffany budget, Macy's and Nordstrom
carry tiaras. After all, who doesn't want to be a queen for a day?