Pearls speak to me of seriousness, of coolness. I rarely wear them, although I think their glowing white opalescence a wonderfully regal thing.

Serious people wear pearls. Julia Gillard wears pearls.

I remember seeing some of Gillard’s newly-minted PM images, with her pearls, alabaster skin and red hair setting off cues to the Elizabethan era. All that was necessary to complete the steely was a stiff neck ruffle and mutton-sleeves – the drama of that particular political period matching perfectly.


Wearing : Obus leather and wool suit, Ralph Lauren pearls

Women glowering like candlelight from Rembrandt paintings wear pearls which shine from gloomy depths like small blessings. These women don’t feel pressed to smile, or to make the viewer comfortable in their cool gaze. Have you noticed how difficult it is not to smile or mug when a photo is being taken?


In these images I channel the strong, immovable and patrician quality of the be-pearled women in my mind’s eye. Unsmiling and serious. There is a time for being amenable and giggle, for being flirtatious and pleasing. But equally, there is a time to be earnestly and seriously your own true self.


A clear vision. A natural confidence and power.


These images were taken in the workshop of extraordinary artist Mark Douglass.


Why so serious?

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