Not your Grandma's Pearls

Last year had us flaunting several types of pearl accessories and this year is no exception. We can see pearls featured in all shapes and sizes with a new contemporary look evolving. This Summer we launch our second collaboration with the talented Suzi Kyriakidis as she plays with new ways to feature the precious pearl.

 

Let's go back to the beginning...

Royalties are the pioneer for exhibiting pearls as a symbol of power.

During the Renaissance, only the royalty and the wealthiest people could afford pearls as can be seen in the portraits of kings and queens of Europe. Showing this off put a message of privilege as well as wealth all across the nation. It was understood that pearls could only be worn by the elites. 

Queen Elizabeth I’s iconic portrait donning a necklace draped in layers of highly prized pearls, displaying pearls on her hair, her ears and her clothing is absolutely fascinating. While the infamous Marie Antoinette of France displayed breathtaking pearls in her hair and at her cleavage.

Fashion Influencers of Pearl

Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe are two of the most iconic personalities who adored and vaunted their love for pearls. In their own rights, they are probably the stars accountable for associating “Pearls” with “Sophistication” that people, yes women including men, loved. Suddenly, wearing pearls as a piece of jewelry became a hype that everyone gets to express - no longer confined to movie stars,  artists or political figures. Status is no longer a limitation. Pearls became a staple accessory for dates, work, events or practically any activity you have. 

We sat down with Suzi to chat more about this Summer's collection,

 Why do you love working with pearls so much? 

I have always been attracted to their unique lustre - I love pearls, mother-of-pearl and shells equally for this reason. They provide a beautiful contrast to metals and I especially love the combination of pearls with gold. To me they feel precious, formed in nature and unlike anything else - I love the organic quality they bring to jewellery. This season I have chosen to work with irregular pearls, celebrating their unique textures and imperfections.

Why do you think pearls have made a comeback?

Until their recent renaissance in fashion jewellery natural pearls were more often associated with family heirlooms, perhaps a matching necklace and earring set worn by your grandmother. Or belonging to the fine jewellery family where strands of flawless south sea pearls are incredibly expensive. Now I think pearls have re-emerged with the trend of paired-back elegance and tailoring, as easily worn during the day as at night. Natural freshwater pearls are also more accessible to jewellers now, and there's a variety of pearl shapes available. Also in line with broader consumer trends, there is a growing desire to invest in organic and quality materials - choosing real over fake. 

What are some of the challenges when working with pearls? 

Sourcing pearls during the pandemic and lockdown in Melbourne has been challenging, as I haven't been able to review pearls in person before buying - however like everyone I have found ways to adapt. This season finding the just the right amount of symmetry and asymmetry when matching irregular pearls for earrings has taken time but has been an enjoyable part of the process. 
 

For those who are looking to purchase a pearl piece- what would be some advice on choosing the best style for them?

If you're new to wearing pearls or unsure if they're for you, find a style of earring that you like that has small elements of pearl as a highlight instead of the feature, like the Pearl Picnic Hoop Earrings.
If you love pearl and want to make a statement with them, I recommend the Pearly Wire Hoop Earrings which have oversized, textured irregular pearls dangling from fine wire... these are eye catching and naturally stunning.
If you're not into earrings, consider the Pearl Glasses Chain for your sunglasses (or reading glasses this summer). Hint: for those in Melbourne these also make a great face mask attachment!
Tips: caring for peals to ensure they last longer? 
Like shell they can chip, fracture or break if dropped so be careful when handling them. Avoid contact with makeup and hairspray when wearing them and wipe gently with a soft, dry cloth before storing them in a box or jewellery bag.
What are some colours and textures that pair back nicely with pearls? 
Natural pearls look beautiful with everything! They are neutral and will highlight any outfit or colour. You can wear them with a linen t-shirt during the day just as easily as a silk dress in the evening. 

 

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