What It's Like To Wear a $400K Hair Accessory Around NYC For a Day

chiara-embedPhoto: Leslie Kirchhoff
In the wild world of street style, there's one universal rule for getting noticed: The more you peacock, the more you'll be photographed. But, in recent seasons, the competition among the fashion flock has become more dramatically intense, with show-goers going to new extremes to make the blogosphere. If you can't be a model off-duty, then why not try to be Anna Dello Russo?
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So, what's a notorious fashion blogger to do when dreaming up a month's worth of front-row ensembles? If you're Chiara Ferragni, better known as The Blonde Salad, you think big — way big.
Enter Sara Weinstock, the fine jewelry designer whose pieces are on glittering display at luxury shopping spots like Barneys New York and Galeries Lafayette. "I really enjoy following Chiara and reading her blog," she says. "So, I wanted to design something really special."
The only challenge? "I don't wear crazy jewelry," says Chiara. "Don't get me wrong: I love accessories. But, I hate overdoing it. I usually only wear two signature pieces: an emerald ring my boyfriend made for me, and a Chopard 'Love' Ring that I consider my lucky charm."
To fit Chiara's look, Weinstock pivoted a little bit from her signature necklaces and bracelets. "I made my first-ever hair accessory," she says. "And, it's funny, because I've been researching them for an upcoming project, so the timing was right." Well, sort of: "I had two weeks from design to manufacturing to deliver the accessory to Chiara. Since that was a pretty tight deadline, I took a very important diamond bracelet that was in my personal safe and busted it up. The diamonds scattered all over my desk, and I just started to play."
Eventually, she settled on an Art Deco, French-tulip design for the piece, mounting 50 carats of diamonds on 18-karat white gold. "My team and I worked for two weeks straight, but it was well worth it," she says. "It's really great to see the final product — it's something I've dreamed of since I was little!"
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chiara-ferragni-fashion-week-embed_hPhoto: Leslie Kirchhoff
Weinstock flew from Los Angeles to NYC to deliver the piece to Chiara, whose team was up at 6 a.m. getting her ready for the day of shows ahead. "It was a very big piece," Chiara says. "So, I thought it needed something simple and chic, because I didn't want to look too 'done.' We settled on a little black dress with cutouts by Cushnie et Ochs and understated black heels."
Once she walked out the door, though, things got real. "I was a little scared, to be honest," she says. "The piece is just so expensive, and it feels a little dangerous to be wearing it! I once did a red carpet in Cannes with Chopard, and I was wearing a million dollars' worth of jewelry — but there was a guard with me at all times."
Meanwhile, the blogger's beauty team (she's the newly-minted face of Redken Diamond Oil High Shine — which launches in October — so she rarely travels sans entourage) mimicked that effortless sensibility with a braided ballerina bun. "I prefer to wear my hair down," Chiara admits. "But, for a piece like this, it needed to be up — or else it could look a little cheesy. In the end, I felt sort of like a ballerina."
chiara-ferragni-fashion-week-embed_h2Photo: Leslie Kirchhoff
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As the day went on, and Chiara jetted from shows to meetings, the aesthetic grew on her. Photographers kneeled to get a full shot of her ensemble, only to chase after her once she walked away so they could capture the back of her head. "This look was a departure for me, because I like to dress more casually while I'm attending the New York shows," she says. "But, that's okay! I like to think that my style is always evolving. It was nice to be more sophisticated for the day, put on heels, and feel more polished. Wearing something like this changed my attitude a little bit. I was walking differently; posing differently. It was a good change of pace."
Right after the Marc by Marc Jacobs show, the piece was returned to its precious case. "I needed to look more like myself, because I was hosting a party at The Standard," she says. "So, I took my hair down and changed into a slouchier dress with booties. To be honest, I felt a little relieved! It was nice to be back to normal, but sad, because it was such a great piece."
Does that mean she might be trying some more razzle-dazzle in the future? "Definitely," Chiara says with a smirk. "Who could say no to diamonds?"


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