Pearls Are Trending: From Classic to Edgy to Over-the-Top

Classic pearl necklace fetched $185,000 (or 3 times the estimate) at Bonham's auction house, New York.
At Bonhams New York Fine Jewelry auction held October 8, a triple strand natural pearl, gem and diamond necklace fetched $185,000, over three times its high estimate. Photo courtesy of bonhams.com

What a difference a season makes. As recently as August, jewelry editors were touting delicate gold chains and pearl rings, laid back and perfect for layering. These simple pieces, made popular by the likes of jeweler Jennifer Meyer, seemed well proportioned for summer’s yoga-pants-as-daywear movement. Less was more. But here we are, mid-fall and previewing Spring 2015, and the fashion pendulum has swung in the direction of extra embellishment – including fringe, frayed edges, patchwork denim, dark floral prints, obi sashes, clear plastic panels, and pearls with everything!

pearls with everything at Lanvin
Pearls with Everything at Lanvin, Photo Courtesy of accessories.com

Pearls are trending for spring, from classic to edgy to over-the-top. In addition to the houses of Chanel and Dior, where pearls have always been in the DNA, designers including Lanvin, Altuzarra and Rodarte are embracing pearls in a big way. They’re sewing pearls into fabrics to decorate seams, hems, shoulders, and sleeves. They’re showing pearls with lace, and encased in open-work mesh. They’re using pearls on belts, bags, shoes, and tights.

Pearls at Rodarte, Adam Selman, Altuzarra
Pearls at Rodarte, Adam Selman, Altuzarra, Photo Courtesy of T blog at nytimes.com
Olivia Palermo
Olivia Palermo
Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

At Paris Fashion Week, for example, Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz draped his girls in pearls in almost every runway look for Spring/Summer 2015. As a designer with a tremendous influence on the jewelry industry, Elbaz’s vision cannot be underestimated. He used small pearls to trim his exquisite clothes, and larger ones as jewelry exclamation points.

Trend setter Pharrell Williams wearing pearl and gold chains.
Pharrell Williams Rocks Chanel Pearl
and Gold Chains. Photo courtesy of celebritystreetstyle.com

Pearls worn with denim and leather are popping up on runways, and in front rows. Actress and fashion muse Olivia Palermo stunned at London Fashion Week in Rebecca Minkoff’s pearl-studded leather Wes Moto jacket. And music producer Pharrell Williams (“The Voice”) has made the cardigan cool again by accessorizing it with long pearl-and-gold chains by Chanel.

To learn how to best clean and care for your pearl jewelry, click here.

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