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After Vogue wrote a paean to the gorgeousness of the chandelier and drop pearl earrings in Yorgos Lanthimos’s film – which is up for 10 awards at the Oscars – London-based costume jewellery designer Vicki Sarge, contacted us to say that it was she who was responsible for the film’s lobe-liness. Although not credited she created, at the request of costume designer, Sandy Powell, all of the stunning ear jewels worn by the three main characters in almost every scene of the film.
“It’s the most satisfying creative project I’ve ever done,” says the American-born Sarge. “Sandy was a dream to work with. A lot of the time when you make pieces for a film they don’t end up in shot. So I couldn’t believe it when they featured so heavily all the way through.”
Powell originally approached Sarge, whose atelier and shop is based in Belgravia, about making a crown for the film. Sarge, who is a huge fan of Lanthimos’s previous movie, The Lobster, agreed. But, when Powell saw Sarge’s Queenie collection, inspired by The Cheapside Hoard – an exquisite treasure trove of Elizabethan and early Stuart jewellery discovered by construction workers in east London in 1912 – she became taken with the idea of the characters wearing earrings too. Sarge had no idea quite how much.
Part of the jewellery house Ericson Beamon, founded in 1983, Sarge’s signature is dramatic and over-sized pieces, which are often very colourful. She has designed for Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten, Erdemand almost any fashion house you can think of (prior to labels being bought out by luxury conglomerates and creating their own jewellery lines). She’s been a frequent collaborator with stylists such as Kate Phelan, creating bespoke jewellery that has appeared multiple times on the pages of Vogue. Celebrities and notables from Michelle Obama through to Tilda Swinton and Kendall Jenner in this year’s February issue of Italian Vogue have all created strong statements with her wares. And she’s also worked on costumes for film and theatre, including both Cate Blanchett’s Queen Elizabeth I movies.
After seeing just what stars her earrings had become in The Favourite, Sarge decided to recreate four pairs and a pink pearl choker, like the one worn by Olivia Colman in the film, for a small collection called, of course, The Favourite. The stunning chandelier earrings (a term said to have been invented in the ’80s by Ericson Beamon) are hand-crafted in the on-site workshop in Belgravia, with Swarovski crystals and pearls and using fine jewellery techniques. They’re priced between £95 and £385 and are available in store now – for Oscars’ screening parties and beyond…