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Author Topic: Wallis Simpson's Fashion&Jewels  (Read 68752 times)
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Rearden

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« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2011, 07:51:34 PM »

Well what I understood is that Churchill was ok with the marriage and with Wallis being queen.
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« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2011, 02:34:52 PM »

Well what I understood is that Churchill was ok with the marriage and with Wallis being queen.

It's a shame that I never pored over this story. I need to do my homework before writing anything stupid. Wink
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« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2011, 02:41:50 PM »

Well what I understood is that Churchill was ok with the marriage and with Wallis being queen.

I've heard that as well, which surprised me as it was my understanding that most of the government (the PM and cabinet at least) knew that he was a Nazi supporter, that it was almost inevitable that the UK would be drawn into conflict, and beyond that Edward was not acting very kingly in most other situations.  Wallis provided the perfect excuse to get him kicked out of office.
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« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2011, 06:01:07 PM »

Well what I understood is that Churchill was ok with the marriage and with Wallis being queen.

It's a shame that I never pored over this story. I need to do my homework before writing anything stupid. Wink

do not worry I think that it was my fault as I was not very clear  Smiley

I've remembered that I had Churchill's biography by Martin Gilbert. In the book it is said that he was against Wallis and supported those who tried to persuade Wallis to give up on Edward. But he was in favour of giving the king more time to decide about if he was going to marry Wallis or not, sadly it was considered that Churchill was trying to discredit Baldwin when he was only trying to avoid a constitutional crisis. He spoke in the Commons about this with unfortunate results. His speech was not well received and the impression that he was trying to make trouble damaged his career, The Times called the episode in the Commons "the most striking rebuff of modern Parliamentary history".

Maybe this is the reason that some think that he was not against Wallis.  Thinking

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« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2011, 06:31:49 PM »

Ahh, he was playing politics, then.
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« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2011, 04:10:59 PM »

her gala dresses are to die for 



































via TFS
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« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2011, 04:12:57 PM »

Who's That Girl?

Pondering Wallis Simpson, the Most Unlikely Trophy Wife


By her own account, Wallis Warfield Simpson was neither a great beauty nor a great mind; the twice-divorced, Baltimore-bred socialite became a romantic icon when she inspired the most extravagant show of devotion: a king abdicating his throne in order to marry her. Sixty-two years after its occasion, Simpson's wedding to the Duke of Windsor (who was the King of England for all of 326 days) remains for many the romantic high point of the 20th century.

The fact that she was neither beautiful nor brilliant might be the key to America's continued fascination with Simpson. Grace Kelly married a prince (and unlike Simpson, became a royal herself), but her good fortune was no surprise. Kelly was beautiful, talented, well-bred, and famous; her status as a movie star qualified as the American version of royalty. Kelly was supposed to marry a prince. So while the public enjoyed the royal wedding, with all its luxuriant trimmings, the newly christened Princess Grace was the subject of adoration, not fascination.

Simpson, on the other hand, wasn't the blue-eyed blonde of Westerners' royal fantasies, and her ascension engendered lifelong fascination in some, outrage and envy in others. Vilified for her moral transgressions (she was still married when she took up with Edward), her bigotry (the duke and duchess were reportedly Nazi sympathizers), and her vapid, money-fueled lifestyle, Simpson was often held up as a fashion icon, but never as a role model. With Wallis: Duchess of Windsor, an exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society (MHS), curator Kohle Yohannan tries to draw on the tools of Simpson's strength—her clothing, jewelry, and other accessories—to make us take a new look at her weaknesses.

The exhibit, housed in MHS' Claire McCardell Costume and Textile Gallery, is surprisingly small, given Simpson's voracious appetite for clothes and jewels and things. But Yohannan has culled from Simpson's enormous collection some wonderfully representative items. Simpson's much-ballyhooed "monkey dress," (which was already in the MHS collection) manifests her talent for mixing the exotic and the elegant; the stiffly titled "three-piece ensemble" designed by Madam Grès turns out to be royal-blue hot pants, a double-slit skirt, and a beautifully woven matching vest. The suit itself isn't the whole story; according to Yohannan, Simpson was in her 70s when she wore the hot pants to cha cha in Paris.

Yohannan, a New York-based art and design historian, delights in discussing Simpson's style. "Wallis designed her own image with an eraser and not a pencil," he says with great admiration. "She understood the combination of style and wit."

It's true that Simpson favored simplicity while also indulging her sense of humor. She mixed paste jewelry with real gems and favored simple lines that showed off her perennially slim figure. (This is the woman who coined the phrase, "You can never be too rich or too thin.") But the duchess' minimalism was incredibly complicated—her dresses featured elaborate infrastructures that prevented the fabric from moving without her—and even the simplest shift might have required more than 100 hours of work to meet her specifications.

Yohannan sees Simpson's attention to detail and insistence on her personal vision as part of a larger philosophy. "She stuck with her own style for 50 years, and there's something impressive about that in itself," he says. "She broke every rule in the world, and she never apologized."

Yohannan considers Simpson's philosophy, in both fashion and life, to be wildly feminist. She followed her own Muse, lived by her own rules, and won—again and again. While her prize—a king—might not meet with the approval of the National Organization for Women, Yohannan sees her drive mirrored in the behavior of today's female icons, such as Madonna. Both women, he says, follow the motto, "whatever it takes."

Viewing Simpson's shift dresses with matching shoes, the Madonna comparison might seem absurd. But truth be told, Simpson wasn't quite the uptight, garden-party type so often presented by the press. Her sugarcoated memoir, The Heart Has Its Reasons, reveals humanizing tidbits that make the duchess much more interesting. While between marriages in the 1920s, Simpson writes that she occasionally gambled to supplement her income. (She won $230 the first time she bet on a poker game.) She pursued a career, taking training courses to sell tubular steel. And she learned to cook, not from her mother or by taking professional classes, but by trial and error, with the help of Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.

Yohannan celebrates Simpson as an "iconic rule-breaker," and he believes today's women could do worse than look to her for guidance. He refuses to get bogged down in discussions of her vapid lifestyle: "Society women today are expected to do charity work and all of these good deeds—yawn, who cares?" The duchess' legacy, according to Yohannan, is to inspire us to go after what we want, and to surprise others, if not ourselves. "I don't think [Simpson] is a moral icon," he acknowledges, "but I don't think moral icons are as important as empowering icons." Simpson's painstakingly tailored dresses; her glittering, gleeful jewelry; her relentlessly arranged furnishings speak of a woman who knew exactly what she wanted. "The long and short of it," Yohannan says, "is that she wasn't going to lose."

http://www2.citypaper.com/arts/story.asp?id=3995

The Duchess of Windsor's Royal Style

The American socialite's sparkling wit and meticulous taste wooed the king of England off his throne — and inspired Madonna to direct a film based on her life. Read the story below, then see a slideshow of some of her best fashion moments and read her 1966 Bazaar interview.

By Suzy Menkes

What would chic, sleek Wallis Warfield Simpson, Duchess of Windsor and queen of style, wear if she were with us now?

How would the famously disciplined American divorcée dress to enhance a frame so slender that the only pouffy things around her were two pillows embroidered with YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO RICH OR TOO THIN and IF YOU ARE TIRED OF SHOPPING YOU ARE USING THE WRONG SHOPS?

The first fashion stop on the Simpson 21st-century shopping list might be for Céline's streamlined severity: a slim skirt and simple blouse fastened with a jeweled pin (a brooch of twin W's for "Wallis Windsor" or the famous W.E., with her initial entwined with that of her lover, King Edward VII, who abdicated the throne for her in 1936).

The way the full-of-pep Simpson looked in London in the '30s — when she was secretly dating the Prince of Wales and future king — would be right on for Phoebe Philo's Céline vision in 2010. "As compact as a Vuitton traveling case," said society photographer Cecil Beaton, calling her "tidy, neat, immaculate." You would not have found this elegant, outgoing, married woman (thirtysomething when she met her prince) in provocative clothes, despite the raging affair that threatened to topple the British monarchy.

"I began with my own personal ideas about style and I've never again felt correct in anything but the severe look I developed then," Simpson told her friend Fleur Cowles, the magazine editor and society hostess, in an interview for Bazaar in 1966. That pared-down, urban elegance of her early days remained her style until her death in 1986. ä

Why has the story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor continued to resonate, so that books about their passion and their love of fashion pile up in bookstores, her jewels raise staggering prices at auction, and Madonna is directing her own cinematic vision of the couple in a movie named W.E., for Wallis and Edward?

The W and E style was the essence of chic. The duke's look was primarily English: three parts aristo to one part eccentric in his mad mix of Prince of Wales checks, baggy golfing plus fours, and Fair Isle sweaters. Meanwhile, Simpson's style was quintessentially French, from the time when haute couture ruled the fashion world. On friendly terms with designers like Hubert de Givenchy and Christian Dior's Marc Bohan, the duchess worked to reduce every outfit to its essence, even asking the couturiers to dispense with pockets.

Americans in Europe often brought a gutsy breath of fresh air to Paris salon style, but Jacqueline de Ribes, the society aristocrat, said of the duchess, "She was chic but never casual. Other American society women, like Babe Paley, could be chic in blue jeans. The duchess was a different generation." Her style was urban, and even her visits to the newly fashionable French Riviera revealed her to be, as Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland put it, "soignée, not degagée" (polished but not relaxed). So while her husband adopted Pablo Picasso's striped sailor tops, Simpson interpreted "casual" as slim blue shifts and beach pajamas in the '30s and silk slacks for Palm Beach in the '50s.

Opinions in European society were divided as to whether the sparkly Simpson, with her snappy wit and harsh laugh, was chic or cheap. Her king adored her for the open spirit he found on his first trip to America as a young Prince Charming in 1919. "American vitality — it is a tangible quality. You can feel it in the air," he said at the time. But to elegant entertainer Noël Coward, the Windsors were vulgar — not least in their showy way of traveling with dozens of pieces of luggage when the rest of the world was struggling to recover from war.

Yet whatever the couple's lightweight café-society lifestyle, they were serious about matters of taste. Would the Simpson of today choose only the rigor and restraint of streamlined, no-fuss looks from Jil Sander or Calvin Klein? She would surely add Karl Lagerfeld and his classy wit to her shopping list, for the duchess was drawn to clothes laced with a healthy dose of irony and fun. One Elsa Schiaparelli original for her featured a surreal lobster pattern climbing suggestively up a dress. Hubert de Givenchy, who became close to the duchess after her husband's death in 1972, remembers making her a cotton dress with wool-embroidered monkeys.

The almost-royal Simpson, who never held the title of H.R.H., was a fan of Dior and never went for the tweedy look — even when it was translated into French chic by Coco Chanel. "The duchess loves Paris because it is not too far from Dior," quipped the duke. The house created an haute couture version of the perfect little black dress beloved by the duchess. Even as an ingenue in her native Baltimore, she had known about the power of simplicity with a dash of glamour.

Back then, it was simply about adding a bright silk sash to a plain dress. But by the time her jewel box was overflowing with offerings from her royal lover, Simpson had reduced her style to a fine architecture with just a touch of decoration. Whether it was her Van Cleef & Arpels cuff bracelet (newly fashionable again) in diamonds and sapphires to match a blue column of a Mainbocher wedding dress or the flamboyant Cartier jeweled flamingo she flaunted on a severe black dress, she had the dash and the cash. Cartier's lithe panther jewels reflected the intense sexual chemistry of the Windsors and expressed their childish lovers' language in the secret messages of passion and desire engraved on the backs. Meanwhile, Van Cleef captured the Simpson wit with a diamond-studded zipper necklace and gave her royal class with a diamond-plume brooch, referencing the emblematic Prince of Wales feathers.

What made Simpson — an essentially plain woman — so irresistible to the Prince of Wales that he loved her against all the odds? (The couple now seem like an eerie precursor to Prince Charles's enduring passion for Camilla Parker Bowles, even during his marriage to Princess Diana.) Society gossip claimed that she had become skilled in the erotic arts during the lotus-eating year she spent in Shanghai and Peking in the '20s, playing poker to keep herself afloat after having junked her first naval husband. As Duchess of Windsor, she certainly retained a touch of the exotic, with a love of mandarin collars, slender cheongsams, and a smooth, glossy hairstyle that Beaton described as "brushed so that a fly would slip off it."

In contrast, the duke had a seemingly effortless elegance that has made him a timeless menswear icon to designers like Ralph Lauren. The thick Windsor knot in his necktie, the checked shirts with plaid pants, and bumblebee-striped socks have entered the lexicon of stylish menswear. Yet this so-called chic fatigue or casual chic was more studied than people realized. Because he liked the American cut of high-rise, waistband-free trousers, he had them made in New York, with matching jackets tailored in London. The droll duchess called them "pants across the sea."

Simpson worked even harder than her husband at being elegant, punishing herself by existing on little more than a single egg when her weight shot up two tiny ounces. She called on her hairdresser, the famous Alexandre de Paris, to dress her hair every single day. In that absolute dedication to appearance, she belongs to an era when a woman — and especially one brought up among Southern belles — dressed to please, rather than tease, her man. Yet there is something eternal about her style that still resonates today — like the all-consuming passion that caused a king to renounce his duty and his destiny for the unlikely love of his life.

http://www.harpersbazaar....ess-of-windsor-style-1010
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« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2011, 04:35:50 PM »

Well what I understood is that Churchill was ok with the marriage and with Wallis being queen.

It's a shame that I never pored over this story. I need to do my homework before writing anything stupid. Wink

do not worry I think that it was my fault as I was not very clear  Smiley

I've remembered that I had Churchill's biography by Martin Gilbert. In the book it is said that he was against Wallis and supported those who tried to persuade Wallis to give up on Edward. But he was in favour of giving the king more time to decide about if he was going to marry Wallis or not, sadly it was considered that Churchill was trying to discredit Baldwin when he was only trying to avoid a constitutional crisis. He spoke in the Commons about this with unfortunate results. His speech was not well received and the impression that he was trying to make trouble damaged his career, The Times called the episode in the Commons "the most striking rebuff of modern Parliamentary history".

Maybe this is the reason that some think that he was not against Wallis.  Thinking



Thank you for clarifying! Sure, maybe this is the reason. Churchill wasn't a fool, right?! Wink
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Lille

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« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2011, 08:04:18 PM »

I find her taste in jewellery rather vulgar.
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« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2011, 09:43:46 PM »

Is Wallis good looking?

She must have been very funny?

It is a mystery why she married 3 times because it can't be neither looks nor witt!?

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« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2015, 09:12:09 PM »

Did anyone notice Margot Robbie wearing a necklace at the Oscars that they claimed was made for Wallis Simpson in the 1930s by Van Cleef and Arpels? Supposedly worth $ 1.5 million.





http://www.dailymail.co.u...on-Oscars-red-carpet.html
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« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2015, 05:42:04 PM »

I read somewhere (probably either The Court Jeweller or OSS) that a Van Cleef spokesperson said the necklace was "like" one made for the Duchess of Windsor but was not the same one...
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« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2015, 01:58:36 AM »

Did anyone notice Margot Robbie wearing a necklace at the Oscars that they claimed was made for Wallis Simpson in the 1930s by Van Cleef and Arpels? Supposedly worth $ 1.5 million.





http://www.dailymail.co.u...on-Oscars-red-carpet.html

Well if she wants to wear jewellery created and designed for a Nazi sympathiser and appeaser and accomplice, she'll be getting quite the Karma!
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« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2015, 04:14:30 PM »

Dunno, she had some really spectacular pieces and some of them had past provenances which made them historically valuable. Remember those pearls that Calvin Klein bought for Kelly at the auction? They had been a gift from Queen Mary to DoW when he was PoW. Though why she would give her son a pearl necklace who was not married or close to marrying is rather strange to me. Then there was the rumor of the emeralds being from the royal jewelry box and reset for WS during the mistress portion of their story.
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« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2015, 04:26:48 PM »

The zipper design (worn open as a necklace and closed as a bracelet) is said to be instigated by Wallis. however I believe her version was just (just Halo) diamonds and yellow gold. Since the 50's this design has been remade in various versions.
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