Picture this: Versailles in the 1700’s, Marie Antoinette is setting the standards for adorning her glorious locks. When she arrived in Paris, big, tall hair with trendy accessories was becoming the style and as the new wife of King Louis XVI, she was expected to take the leadership role in fashion and she certainly did not disappoint.
She loved having her tresses built up around wire forms into three-foot high masterpieces. There was no limit to creativity or expense. Some of her more well-known hair adornments included live birds, battle reenactments, precious stones and whatever folly suited her fancy at the moment. This fashion trend was such a lengthy process to stage that most women in the court spent a couple weeks flaunting their style before starting over again.
This is actually when and where the name “hairdresser” was first coined. The Parisian hair styles of the times were so intricately designed that they needed some seriously fashionable assistance. In one single year, Paris went from having zero to over 1,000 “hair dressers”.
Today’s runways have continued to use these high fashion statements with standard accessories such as: tiaras, headbands, barrettes and clips and some not-so-standard accessories that barely have names. Although this list does not include the all-famous scrunchy, be forewarned that the once-scorned accessory is making its comeback according to what we’ve seen recently on the catwalks.
Nicole Richie has made great strides for furthering the popularity of hair accessories, as her signature style generally includes something atop or on her tresses. The popular television series, Gossip Girl, was also known for showcasing expensive pieces of hair jewelry while it displayed the decadence of New York’s upper east side residents.
Tiaras, barrettes, headbands and clips will always get our attention when they are bejeweled. This list includes a pretty wide scope of the most expensive hair fashion accessories one will ever see in their lifetime.
10. Braided Crystal Twist: $1,375
Since 2005, Jennifer Behr has been known for her pricey, contemporary hair accessories. Although her designs are always on-trend, they also provide a highly seductive and sophisticated style, depending on the wearer. Behr uses functional, yet superior, materials in her work and is heralded for her professional craftsmanship. This Braided Crystal Twist is embedded with Swarovski crystals and costs more than a month’s rent for many people. Behr’s creations are often seen in Vogue, W, Elle and on runways around the world. Fashionistas such as Nicole Richie, Rihanna, Amy Adams, Charlize Theron and Natalie Portman are all clients who sport her fashions.
9. Fendi Bag Bug Earmuff’s: $1,500
These Fendi monster earmuffs are so popular, they are sold out for the entire upcoming year of 2014. Made of fox, mink and leather, the earmuffs feature a monster on each side of the head. Fendi’s Bag Bug collection has really taken off with the rich and famous, as they are playful and fun. Luxurious to the touch, this weird-looking hair accessory will get attention in any cold climate, on the slopes or at the after-party. Even though these are no longer available, the rest of Fendi’s Bag Buff collection is still available so we’re bound to see more hits this year.
8. Dolce & Gabbana Embellished Velvet Headband: $1,825
Dolce & Gabbana is heralded for being a consistent success in the fashion world. Normally known for their clothing designs that are inspired by their Mediterranean heritage, they moved into the world of accessories with the same aplomb. The glamorous headbands and headpieces began showing up during the Fall 2012 runway shows. This velvet headband is richly adorned with crystals, gold charms and lace. Although this particular headband’s design is simple, it is elegant and is still being seen gracing the heads of the rich and famous.
7. Ana Khouri 18-Karat Gold Leaf Hair Pin: $17,200
Ana Khouri is the one who designed this 18-karat gold hairpin. Known for using responsibly-sourced materials, this dazzling pin was inspired by the Art Deco era and 1950’s Brazil . The leaf line created by Khouri not only includes the beautiful hair piece, but also includes a hand cuff ($28,300), diamond necklace with one leaf ($2,980), full necklace ($36,650) and earrings ($13,500). For a little over $100,000, the entire golden leaf line can be yours. This is one “bobby-pin” no owner would hide and due to it’s well constructed design, it actually holds the hair in place.
7. Ana Khouri 18-karat gold Tiara: $20,400
Ana Khouri is always ecologically responsible and that is partly why her designs are so sought-after. This 18-karat gold tiara is shaped to perfectly fit the owner’s head and is held in place with silk ribbons. Simple, elegant and unpretentious are the words used to describe her body of work. She is known for being an innovator yet with the skills of an artisan jeweler. Khouri went from college in San Paulo directly to New York and London, where she learned about gems and continued creating her wearable art. Madonna was one of the first celebrities to wear Khouri’s designs, which helped propel her into design stardom.
6. Lady Gaga’s Orb: $46,000
Lady Gaga is always dreaming up new ways to shock and entertain her fans. This orb hat, which was made by designer Nasir Mazhar and worn by Gaga in her music video Bad Romance and an editorial for V Magazine, was sold in 2010 and bought by an unknown buyer. Not exactly a hat for prêt-a-porter, this is one for the eccentric, attention-getting type owner who wants to be seen before she enters the room. Mazhar’s larger than life design is made of brass and is nearly 16 inches from end-to-end.
5. Natalie K Diamonds – Red Carpet Hair Comb: $1,000,000
This lovely comb was created by Natalie K. Diamonds with the help of designer Roger Neal. It supposedly made Oscar history as being the most expensive hair accessory ever worn on the red carpet. Kimora Lee Simmons, former fashion model and founder of Baby Phat, wore this $1 million accessory on the red carpet and received worldwide publicity. Natalie K. Diamonds uses gemstones from Africa, Israel, Russia which are considered to be among the most precious in the world.
4. Miss Russia 2010 Crown: Over $1,000,000
In 2010, Miss Russia was lucky enough to wear the most expensive crown ever worn in a beauty pageant. Worth well over $1 million, Irina Antonenko sailed down the catwalk with the winning title and world’s most amazing beauty pageant crown after competing with over 51 contestants. The headpiece is adorned with 2,358 diamonds and 14 rare pearls. The crown got so much publicity, it practically overshadowed the pageant. Miss Antonenko actually came in the Top 15 in the subsequent Miss Universe pageant.
3. Emerald and Diamond Tiara: $12.7 million
In 1900, this precious emerald and diamond tiara was commissioned as a gift for German Prince Guido Henckel von Domersmarck’s second wife, Katherine. The tiara is also rumored to have been owned by the wife of Emperor Napoleon III of France. Regardless, this stunning design would substantially enhance the royal-look of any wearer’s head. It includes 11 polished pear-shaped emeralds that total approximately 500 carats. The current owner is anyone’s guess, and the anonymous bidder was confirmed to have paid nearly $13 million for its splendor.
2. Yellow-Diamond Coronet: $335 Million
This yellow-diamond tiara (coronet), designed and carried at Tiffany & Co., is more than just a pretty piece. It serves dual purposes for its owner as the yellow diamonds can actually come off to make up a detachable bracelet. A very clever multipurpose use for a hair trinket so expensive one would need a force of bodyguards for protection. Tiffany & Co. promotes yellow diamonds as gemstones that were “once reserved for queens and maharajahs” and uses them in this tiara to capture the incredible hue reminiscent of the sun.
1. Lawrence Graff’s Diamond-encrusted Hair: $500 Million
This is actually an updated version of the hair style that was unveiled in the 70’s. Original designer, Lawrence Graff, decided it was high time to replicate the look to celebrate his 60th year as a jeweler. The look was created by using 22 pieces of jewelry and many of the diamonds are flawless type 11a, which are prized for their incredible brilliance. This overall look is valued at $500 million and suffice it to say, we will not be seeing this on just any old millionaire. This stellar look creates a contemporary image of the Parisian Marie Antoinette style.
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