Medals Have Crested Thanks to Michael Jackson's Heraldic Chestful
The whimsy began showing itself in Europe a few years ago, when kids started wearing clusters of thrift shop pins and badges. Then earlier this year, Italian designer Giorgio Armani created his own $165 rhinestone Maltese cross. Other designers rushed to the foundry, turning out versions of medals and crests ranging from $16 to $7,800 for a platinum cross encrusted with green diamonds and a rare garnet by Los Angeles designer Lee Brevard. "People seem like they're getting hungry for war," notes Brevard. Michael, Boy George, Charlotte Rampling, the Eurythmics' Annie Lennox and other medal maniacs seem to have heard the battle cry.
Designers are worried that the trend won't win any medals for longevity. While it lasts, though, the fad is proving therapeutic. "When you're feeling blue," says New York designer Timothy Biel, "what could be better than decorating yourself for valor?"
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