Kathleen Lynagh Jewelry Design
Custom Jewelry Designer and Maker in San Diego

Designing jewelry for film, TV & costume industry

Our Maker’s Blog is all about jewelry design, our research and making recreated jewelry for film, TV and costume industry.

Greta Garbo's Pendant from the film "Queen Christina"

 
There were no records to be found regarding the costume designer’s ideas for this pendant

Larry McQueen and I speculated that the original pendant was most likely created by the costume department and assembled from found pieces. We decided to re-create the pendant using real jewelry making techniques. After developing the sketches, we then carved and cast each element, then soldered them together and plated the final pendant.

Detail image of the elaborately gemmed hem of the gown. Photo by Larry McQueen - The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design

Larry McQueen stated - "This gown, however beautiful, was a production nightmare.  Garbo complained that the gown gave her a headache because of its weight (approx. 60 lbs.) and heat.  The light that was reflected from the embroidery caused problems with the lighting and the sound of the gown dragging across the floor made it impossible for anyone to speak while Garbo walked.  The studio, no doubt complained because of the cost.  But it was for Garbo. "

Photo by Larry McQueen - The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design

Photo by Larry McQueen - The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design

 "The gown is an elaborate two-piece period gown of beige velvet consisting of a fitted bodice with Eugene neckline and full-sleeves trimmed with crocheted cuffs and a matching skirt with a slight train.  The garment is lavishly embroidered with a geometric tile motif of paste diamonds, emeralds, gold bullion and various other stones at collar, down the bodice front, sleeves, down front of skirt and around skirt hem and weighs in excess of 60 pounds. Before purchase, the gown was restored for an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute and the original silk pane velvet was replaced by a cotton velvet."

Photo by Larry McQueen - The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design

Photo by Larry McQueen - The Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design

The re-creation of the necklace for the costume was somewhat difficult.  Very little detail is shown in photos or film footage. 

The look for the necklace was to blend into the beadwork on the collar and not stand out or demand too much attention.  Since the film was in black and white and shows none of the color of the original gown or beadwork, it had to be decided what color the necklace should be.  That was decided by trying to pick a plating that would best blend with the beaded ornamentation of the dress. It was obviously based on some historical piece in the time period, but it was also a studio constructed piece of jewelry which did not always follow the construction style of period pieces.  The necklace was constructed with both in mind."