What’s stately, full of luster, and fabulous all-over? A Spey pearl parure, quite naturally. Taken from the French parer (to adorn), a parure is typically composed of at least three complementary pieces of jewelry – some combination, designed to be worn at once, of matching necklace, earrings, bracelet, brooch, diadem or tiara. The less-formal demiparure is a set of two matching pieces, but every princess knows that real magic comes in opulence and presentation.
Under the reign of Louis XIV, jewelers brought the parure into vogue and in so doing, founded an art form all its own. The best craftsman cleverly interlocked snaps and closures, enabling a suite of jewels to be disassembled into several smaller pieces for more casual appearances in society. The classic parure was therefore not static but modular, with a pendant doubling as a brooch or tripling as the central facet of a tiara.
The Court simply adored this magnificent display of wealth and prestige. Duchesses and countesses vied for the best jewelers and craftsmen to layer diamonds, pearls and precious stones into expressions of silver and gold for fabulous pieces of fine jewelry. Each was meant to elevate the status of the wearer and bring them that much closer to princely favor. Today, a parure needn’t be as extravagant as those lavished on the Empress Joséphine by Napoleon – unless you just need a tiara, of course.
Some things never change, for plunging necklines and bosoms thrust upward still form a décolletage that simply begs for a spray of glittering jewels. The parure is the unequivocal decoration of queens at State dinners and first ladies at inauguration balls, but the modern woman who chairs a fundraising gala or patrons opening night at the opera finds a commanding, yet feminine look in the perfectly tailored parure.
Spey takes the traditional parure and refashions it for these extraordinary and high-achieving Washingtonian women. A design may be as simple or extravagant as one might like, from a tasteful matching strand of pearls on the neck and the wrist (with perfectly complementing earrings, as pictured), to a full suite of haute couture jewelry for ceremonial and distinctive occasions. For women of discerning taste, the parure is a necessary component of the wardrobe. Simply drop Spey a note and our vaults will open to you, for a woman is like a chandelier – she deserves a bit of sparkle to reflect her light.