Last fall, New York’s Museum of Modern Art explored the significance of fashion on culture in a blockbuster exhibit entitled: “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” Among the 111 iconic items displayed was a pair of “Doorknocker Earrings” from the 1990s. First popularized by the Hip Hop culture in the late 1980s, “doorknockers” would come to include any oversized hoop…circular, triangular, square, or heart-shaped. If you take the definition more literally, however, doorknocker earrings best resemble the hardware used to knock on a front door.
Why We Love Them
Like so many styles from the ‘80s and ‘90s, doorknockers of all kinds are back with a vengeance. These versatile earrings can feature flat, twisted, or hammered gold or silver, sometimes studded with gemstones or crystals. Often the smaller piece holding the larger dangling hoop of the doorknocker is fashioned into a lion or panther head, with or without bejeweled eyes.
Doorknockers work with daytime and dressier fashions alike; think flared jeans and a belted blazer, or a floral midi with flat sandals. Back in the day, some supermodels and society ladies wore doorknockers with bathing suits and colorful caftans; there’s nothing to prevent you from doing the same this summer!
Where to Buy Them
Your local independent jewelers and better department stores are the best resources for the newest doorknocker earring styles. If you’re looking for affordable vintage and gently-worn designs, check out RubyLane, 1stDibs, or TrueFacet.com. Wherever you shop for them, doorknocker earrings will stand the test of time…must-have accessories for today’s fashionistas.
Steals & Deals
Wondering what to buy the May-June graduates on your list? We love these lion head doorknockers by Kenneth Jay Lane, the famous designer who specialized in faux jewels with the look of real ($88). Macy’s has a petite pair in 14K gold for under $200, and Lyst.com features John Hardy Sterling Silver Doorknockers for $325, which is 50% off the regular price.