BUYING DIANA’S NECKLACE KIM KARDASHIAN ADDS THE LATE PRINCESS’S JEWELLERY TO HER COLLECTION
As a modern-day cultural icon, Kim Kardashian appreciates the value of fashion history. After all, this is the woman who stole the show at New York’s Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala last year by donning one of Marilyn Monroe’s most famous dresses. And last week, the 42-year-old, who first found reality TV fame alongside her family in Keeping Up with the Kardashians, added to her priceless collection of jewellery – which includes pieces previously owned by Dame Elizabeth Taylor – by splashing out more than £160,000 to buy a bejewelled cross once worn by Princess Diana. Kim, one of the most popular social and fashion influencers in the world, with more than 340 million followers on Instagram, bought the Attallah Cross pendant, by high-end jewellers Garrard, for £163,800 at an auction held by Sotheby’s, paying more than double the item’s pre-sale estimate to ensure she took it home.
The piece was bought by Naim Attallah, the former group chief executive of Asprey & Garrard, in the 1980s and he lent it several times to his close friend the Princess of Wales, who famously paired it with a Catherine Walker dress for a charity gala in support of Birthright in October 1987. According to Sotheby’s, the cross was only ever worn by Diana and has not been seen in public for several decades. Naim’s son Ramsay said: “Princess Diana and my father were friends and I remember that she often came to see him at the historic Garrard store on Regent Street, where his office was, and she would ask to borrow the pendant on several occasions – she really loved the piece.” The pendant, which was created in the 1920s, is made up of squarecut amethysts and 5.25 carats’ worth of circular-cut diamonds.
This is not the first time that Kim has acquired jewels worn by fashion icons. In 2011, she paid $65,000 at auction for a set of three gold-andjade bangles by Lorraine Schwartz that were once owned by Dame Elizabeth. And her interest in past style icons doesn’t just extend to jewellery: in May last year, the recently divorced mother of four wore the crystal-encrusted Jean Louis dress that film icon Marilyn wore to sing Happy Birthday to US President John F Kennedy in 1962.
The dress was bought by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! for $4.8m in 2016 and Kim had to lose 16lb to fit into it for the star-studded gala. “I understand how much this dress means to American history,” she said at the time. “With the theme being American, I thought: ‘What is more American than Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday to the President of the United States?’” While some queried Kim’s choice and thought she might have damaged the dress, she made sure to change into a replica once she was off the red carpet.