Thursday, December 15, 2016

A 99 Cent Bird of Paradise (and a Zillion Dollar One by Cartier)

I was at my local dollar store buying some present-wrapping necessities like gift paper and bows when I caught sight of this sparkly blue bird of paradise in the ornament section. You won’t be surprised to know I love a sequin-encrusted and feather trimmed ornament hanging on my Christmas tree and for the nice price of 99 cents how could I resist this particular bird?

It wasn’t until I had a closer look at it later that I realized it reminded me EXACTLY of the 1948 Cartier Bird of Paradise clip in platinum and diamonds that Uma Thurman wore earlier this year to the Met Ball and that had also been featured in the Van Cleef & Arpels’ lecture I attended in October on “Inspiring Feathers in Jewelry.”

A detailed shot of the clip. I weep! Courtesy of Cartier.

One glamorous bird of paradise!

Even the tail detail is beautiful.

So I guess without even realizing it I am out shopping for budget-friendly recreations of over-the-top high jewelry! Actually, I have to wonder if whoever designed this ornament also saw the Cartier bird clip and decided it would look good on a Christmas tree. I think they made the right choice! The store also sold it in hot pink, lavender, and red. The bird is pretty big so I think it may be comparable in size to the brooch Uma wore. Our friend GSL of The Lion’s Den has compared the Cartier clip to a shoulder dagger. Hmm, an interesting analogy, but that would not hinder me from wanting to wear it, in the same way Uma did (and let’s not forget she was the heroine in Kill Bill; if anyone knows how to use a shoulder dagger it’s Uma).

Uma Thurman wearing a 1948 Cartier Bird of Paradise clip at the Met Ball in May 2016. Getty Images.

The budget bird features a barrette-like clip on the back and my son asked me if I was going to wear it in my hair. Maybe I will on New Year’s after a coupe (or two) of champagne! Until then it will be perched high enough on my tree that Tippi the cat can’t reach it.

Tell me about your tree decorations! Do you go in for the gilded and slightly gaudy ornaments like I do?


rosie said...

Hi Jill,

I cannot believe the peacock ornament was so inexpensive & lovely.

Yep, I go for the glitz. Lots of shine, some rhinestones, a sequin here & there and even some feathers on the tree ornaments.

That Cartier brooch on Uma is stunning. The simple gown, hairstyle & of course Uma's beauty add to the spectacular look.

Jill said...

Hi Rosie, you would laugh at our tree--lots of kid stuff, but also some sequined ornaments, other birds with feathers, and even a few strands of pale pink pearls.

I would love to hold that Cartier brooch just to get a sense of how heavy it is!

Hope you are staying warm I cannot believe how cold it is today! xx

Andre Thomas said...

I actually like this version better! This look is definitely pretty, but I didn't go for it because of it's size!

Kate Morey said...

Wow! it looks fantastic! But I think that it is too big and I wouldn`t wear it actually. I would rather read a handmadewritings report