Introduced in the 80s and peaking simultaneously in 2005 with the popularity of Nelly's hit single "Grillz" ,an ode to gold and diamond laced fronts, until recently the "Grill" thankfully had fallen off the radar of mainstream fashion. At one point only associated with showing off the wealth and status of rappers such as Nelly, T.I., Lil' John and Lil' Wayne to name a few, "grillz" have experienced a resurgence thanks to pop culture. Leading the pack, pop star icon Madonna recently stepped out in Rome at the opening of her gym, Hard Candy donning a gold, open tooth design variation of the 24 diamond encrusted design she sported proudly on Instagram a month earlier. A gold grill was also the accessory of choice while out with beau, Brahim Ziabat at the Menton Music Festival in France.
“This is jewelry,” says Albert Levy, the manager of downtown Brooklyn’s Contessa Jewelers, and the designer behind Madonna’s most current gold grill also made a mold for "The Material Girl's" boyfriend, Brahi. “Just this year in the summertime, I think Miley’s the one that did it. We’ve been doing it for all the younger generation, all the girls.”
Some celebs like Miley Cyrus and Rihanna opt for more subtle gold bars and then there's Beyonce's diamond embezzled vampire fangs. Katy Perry stunned paparazzi and wowed fans on the red carpet of the 2013 VMAs when she made an appearance in a leopard print Emanuel Ungaro mini dress accessorized by a mouthful of diamonds spelling out "Roar." Suddenly, flashing your pearly whites has become passe replaced instead by dental work that "shines bright like a diamond" for the ultimate fashion statement. Of course such a bold yet expensive fashion move isn't for the faint of heart or for those lacking in confidence. As crazed and unsightly as the "grillz" trend maybe to most, other stars with rock star attitude or personalities are flocking to cap or adorn their teeth in gold, platinum and or diamond dental bling.
Despite health hazard winnings associated with "grillz" being linked to tooth decay, poisoning and gum disease, don't count on Madge retiring her dental jewelry collection anytime soon. The unconventional pop diva has always had a penchant for looking and acting younger than her years, not to mention her need to push the envelope with shocking fashions, imagery and performances over the span of her illustrious 25 year musical career --- adopting expensive diamond and gold mouth bling is no different. 'Celebrity style stars like Madonna can totally get away with grills, because we expect nothing less than ridiculousness from them,' Fashion writer, Lauren Sherman remarked to MailOnline.
Not everyone is so cavalier about Madonna joining the ranks of celebrities flaunting this fashion forward mouth accessory, citing her age and current relevance in the music industry as factors for the "Vogue" singer to abandon the trend altogether. So what that Madonna hasn't had a hit single in over four years or that she qualifies for AARP, Madge wants you all to know one thing....“The Grilzz...Are here to Stay! So There! If you Don’t like don’t follow!” "Don't hate me, hate my grilz!" she tweeted to her followers.
While this writer wouldn't be caught dead in them, there's no denying the fever of requests for iced out smiles. Fickle fashion faux pass or trendy dental jewelry with staying power? Will you be expressing yourself with a pair or two of custom fitted gold or diamond embellished grillz?
Sources: Daily Mail (dailymail.co.uk), NY Daily News
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