Holiday Gift Guide Part 7 — For The Billie Holiday-Loving Jazz Phenom
Over the last few weeks, during our gift guide coverage, we’ve paid tribute to the groundbreaking style of quite a few female musicians — among them Janelle Monae, Pat Benatar, Lily Allen, Erykah Badu, Grace Jones, and Stevie Nicks. Today’s inspiration: jazz singer Billie Holiday, whose vulnerable, emotionally-charged vocals tugged at our heartstrings in songs like “Good Morning Heartache,” “Lover Man,” “Lady Sings the Blues,” and the heart-wrenching “Strange Fruit.”
Not only did Holiday carve her own path as a performer, but she created her own signature style, adorning her hair with oversize gardenias, applying dark plum lipstick to her pout, and covering her neck with dainty pearls. Below, you’ll find some gift ideas for the woman in your life who wishes she could have heard Lady Day singing at the Cotton Club and who looks back at the Harlem Renaissance as the golden era of creativity and style.
Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED Philippe Ferrandis Zenn Earrings, $160. Available at Swarovski-Crystallized.com
Lady Day’s style was classic and elegant without having any pompous airs, and she knew how to take a simple, long-sleeved dress with an embellished neckline and add a dose of glamour with some luxurious earrings. These hand-crafted earrings, designed by French couture jewelry designer Philippe Ferrandis for Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED, would have prompted Ms. Holiday to croon “I Thought About You” in their honor. Featuring green-colored oval stones adorned with round amethyst purple-colored Swarovski crystals and gardenia-shaped white flowers along their bottom arch, as well as teardrop-shaped, faceted clear crystals dangling beneath them, these clip-on earrings create the feel of a secret, enchanted garden.
Colette Malouf Crochet Wire Poppy Headband. For retailer info and pricing, visit ColetteMalouf.com
If there’s one style element that we always associate with Billie Holiday, it’s the fresh gardenia blossoms she tucked along the side of her head, framing her beautiful face. And while adorning tresses with real gardenias on a daily basis may prove a bit difficult (not to mention costly), you can always interpret the concept and modernize it by turning to this intricate, crochet wire poppy headband designed by hair accessory guru Colette Malouf. The flower’s curved petals soften the look, while the blue crystals along the inner layer add a hint of jazzy dazzle.
Bluewick Triple Scented Candle in Peony Black Currant, $24.50. Available at Bluewick.com
Jasmine flowers, gardenias, and peony blossoms all exude a similar energy, as both their soft, velvety petals and their feminine, almost powdery scent work in conjunction to set a romantic scene. Considering her love of gardenias, then, we think Billie Holiday would have loved the sumptuous aroma of this Bluewick Peony Black Currant candle. The vegetable-based soy wax candle features pink peony notes and black currants for a juicy, tropical lushness, while softer notes of rose and white jasmine add a coy flirtatiousness and a demure presentation.
Majorica Pearl Choker, $210. Available at LastCall.com
When it came to her jewelry choices, Billie Holiday often opted for pearls — sometimes preferring lariat necklaces and other times donning choker style necklaces such as this one from Barcelona-based, century-old brand Majorica. The three-strand choker necklace features man-made pearls measuring 8mm in diameter and an elegant, sterling silver square clasp with a domed pearl in its interior.
Three years after the launch of its divine Infusion d’Iris eau de parfum, Prada has released its sister eau de toilette scent. The new EDT is packaged in a matte, opaque bottle, as opposed to the crystalline glass of the EDP, and features the Prada logo embossed against a white crest instead of the EDP’s silver counterpart. The scent itself is also a departure from the EDP — rather than focusing on bringing out the nuances of the Iris Pallida, the eau de toilette seeks to create the notion of a search through the valley that culminates in the discovery of the iris flower. To that end, then, the Infusion d’Iris Eau de Toilette obliterates the orange blossom and mandarin orange of the EDP, replacing them with lily of the valley and violet top notes; but, like the EDP, the EDT also features a linen top note for a crisp, light, joie de vivre effect, as well as Iris Pallida and cedar notes at its heart. A lighter, more powdery version, the Infusion d’Iris EDP would have Holiday crooning “The Nearness of You.”
Deborah Lippmann All That Jazz Trio, $40. Available at DeborahLippmann.com
In the spirit of the holidays, celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann released this limited-edition holiday trio of glittery nail lacquers, playfully dubbed All That Jazz. The set includes: Razzle Dazzle, a raspberry color with specks of black and magenta glitter; Some Enchanted Evening, a clear polish with shimmering, lavender pink glitter particles of varying diameters; and Lady Sings The Blues, a sapphire blue with glitter particles in a metallic blue topaz and a graphite silver, which was clearly named in honor of Holiday’s sorrowful song by that name.
Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia Take Me There Set, $18. Available at Sephora.com
Considering how much Holiday loved to decorate her hair with fresh gardenias, she would have been over the moon about this Pacifica Tahitian Garden Take Me There set, which features: a 3 fl. oz. Body Butter enriched with shea and mango butters for ultra silky skin; a paraben-free 3 fl. oz. Body Wash enriched with antioxidant-rich pomegranate, green tea, white tea, and grape seed extracts; and a 0.33 fl. oz. roll-on perfume to dab onto pulse points when necessary. With notes of gardenia, jasmine, orange flower and ylang-ylang, these products will have every gal boasting, “I’ve got my love to keep me warm.”
Dana Rebecca Lori Paige Blue Topaz Earrings, $5500. Available at MaxAndChloe.com
The three diamond strands looped along the bottom ridge of the blue topaz studs in these stage-ready earrings recall the earrings Holiday wore on the cover of the The “Real” Lady Sings The Blues 1963 UK vinyl LP cover. These Lori Paige by Dana Rebecca earrings feature 12.04 ct. blue topaz stones and diamond stones measuring 1.88 cts. in total, all set against 14k white gold.
Pevonia Your Skincare Solution Myoxy-Caviar Luxuries Holiday Set. Available at Pevonia.com
You can indulge your skin and maintain an affinity with nature with Pevonia Botanicals’ paraben- and lanolin-free products. The Your Skincare Solution Myoxy-Caviar Luxuries set features three of the products in Pevonia’s high-end, anti-aging line: the Timeless Balm Cleanser, which contains apple-derived amino acids to nourish skin, lemon peel oil to work as an astringent and antibacterial agent, and caviar extract to firm skin; the Timeless Repair Balm, a lightweight lotion containing lemon peel oil, caviar extract, and glycerin; and the Timeless Repair Cream, a heavy-duty moisturizer enriched with vitamins A, C and E, safflower seed oil, lemon peel oil, algae extract, and caviar extract.
Emma Stine Teardrop Edwardian Earring, $24s. Available at EmmaStine.com
These cascading Emma Stine earrings were inspired by plump raindrops, which explains why the teardrop-shaped, faceted clear rhinestones trickle down playfully, each “drop” facing a different way thanks to their angled placement.