The tiara. It’s that rarest of accessories and the one most American women will never own, much less have the occasion to wear. That small jeweled crown is worn by females on formal occasions. Not only do we not have the formal occasions, America’s never had anyone who needed a crown.

This doesn’t keep our ladies from lusting after the ultimate adornment, however. Long the distinguishing mark, rank and aristocracy ­— since nobody else could afford one — only married noblewomen officially had the right to wear tiaras, and no one under the tender age of 18. But should you ever discover relatives in the peerage or bid on one at auction (even the peerage needs money from time to time), it’s good to know the ropes.

The more important the event, the more likely you are to see tiaras. You may wear your tiara on white-tie occasions when men are in full-on formal mode or dress military uniform. Queen Elizabeth likes to take hers to state banquets abroad when everyone else is in black tie, but that’s just her. The Duchess of Cambridge is currently being trussed up with a tiara or two, in order to appear more majestic as a married mum. The time of day is important also, and tiaras are only for evening, and even then only with long gowns. Sorry, you’ll simply have to find some other way to sparkle — sunglasses and tiaras don’t mix.

That said, there’s nothing to stop anyone from organizing a private event including tiaras, and Mardi Gras krewes are magicians when it comes to trumping up occasions to wear them.

So is Elton John.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at or at

Victoria’s queen bids farewell

Victoria wins, the last krewe standing. Reigning Queen Victoria Tish Johnson bid farewell to her court at an elegant Jolie’s Bistro luncheon the day before Easter. “I chose this restaurant specifically for the local seafood, the local chef and the artist since our ball theme was Bayou Treasures,” said Johnson. Donning those tiaras for the last time, one of Lafayette’s premier ladies krewe dined on crab and champagne while they said their adieux. Amid the many Rodrigues was royalty chair Charlotte Marullo, dame commander Lynn Crochet, Carolyn French, Elaine Jackson, Ande Hakeman, Margaret Ruffin, Sandra Wilcox, the best table partner ever Suzan Allen, and if you’re lucky enough to be seated with Mitu Dasgupta, make her do a monologue — we laughed ’til we cried.

Rain Angels get festive

There’s nothing like sitting in the catbird seat, especially downtown at Festival International. The Rain Angels pitched their VIP tent près de la main stage, complete with City Club-catered buffet and bar, lounge chairs and, even more important, electric fans. A longtime Lafayette support network, the Rain Angels’ job is to stave off storms and underwrite the artists performing in case of weather interference to the famous fest. Supportive as usual were Jennifer LeBlanc and her out-of-town guest, Los Angeles celebrity photographer Matthew Mitchell, retired Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission’s Gerald Breaux, Phyllis and Gene Walters, Robert and Janice Copeland, Don and Tish Johnson, City Club exec Alan Jacobs, Julie and Robbie Bush, Lowry’s Mella and Raoul Viera, Dr. Rachel Meaux and Tommy and Ann Marie Hightower. And “Cowboy” Kenny Klusman — we’re not sure how any good-looking man with money can still be single, but he is, ladies.