How lovely that the timing of my new blog coincides with the revival of an iconic style of jewelry: the classic pearl necklace.
There was a time when etiquette books recommended the purchase of a pearl necklace as the perfect gift for the college graduate, and when many a debutante’s neck was adorned with her first strand of pearls. As styles moved away from lockstep thinking as to what was exactly appropriate when, the formerly ubiquitous pearl necklace was sometimes utilized as the signature jewel of a protagonist prepster (think Ally Sheedy’s character in the 1985 film St. Elmo’s Fire)–an anachronistic reference to formality in a society that had become increasingly casual in matters of dress. Pearls have come to be incorporated in all manner of creative and even edgy designs, and I have written recently about some of the latest delightful examples of these inspired designs. What is fresh and new at this time, however, is the return to the pearl necklace in its classic form.
Vogue magazine is at the forefront of highlighting the return to classic pearl strands, it featured the look in three sequential issues this past spring, an extraordinary amount of press given to a particular design, and again features a single strand pearl necklace prominently in a 12-page fashion spread in the September 2013 issue.
The September 2013 issue of Vogue combines pearls with a mix of accessories with a nod to 1960s rock and roll style, photographed in the English countryside. The model wears a pearl necklace together with a heart pendant necklace, both from Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane.
In its September 2013 issue, Elle magazine accessorizes a variety of looks with a single strand of Akoya cultured pearls from Mikimoto. Above is pictured a Jill Stuart sweater worn under a dress from Carven, a style seen in various fashion editorials this season.
Also from the September 2013 issue of Elle is this look, with the Mikimoto pearls accessorizing a silk dress and mink coat from Emilio Pucci.
The April 2013 issue of Vogue presents a beautiful fashion spread based upon Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film Real Window, with actor Tobey Maguire and model/television personality Carolyn Murphy playing the leading roles. Murphy wears vintage inspired fashions, including the above dress of point d’esprit tulle from Gucci with a three-strand pearl necklace from House of Lavande and Carolina Amato gloves. Her handbag is from Prada.
In the May 2013 issue of Vogue model Cara Delevingne is pictured wearing a cultured pearl necklace from Camilla Dietz Bergeron, Ltd. and resin-pearl earrings from Dior with a Jil Sander cardigan.
Delevingne wears a South Sea pearl necklace from Ellagem with a Nina Ricci cardigan and Ricci skirt in this photo from the May 2013 issue of Vogue.
The June 2013 issue of Vogue features model Dree Hemingway and “reimagines the windswept Floridian style of her great-grandfather Ernest on a lively Boca Grande getaway.” Pearls adorn a series of more casual looks. Above, a pearl necklace from Camilla Dietz Bergeron accompanies a bikini swimsuit top from Malia Mills; a Makie cashmere cardigan, and a houndstooth skirt from Carolina Herrera. Dree’s tiny gold rings are not identified. Notice how the pearls repeat the brightness of the white pearlescent buttons of the sweater.
In the above photo from the June 2013 issue of Vogue, Dree Hemingway splashes alongside a swimming pool in a Gucci cashmere sweater and silk gingham shorts from Friends & Associates along with the pearls and a 14kt gold bracelet watch, both from Camilla Dietz Bergeron.
In the above photo, also from the June 2013 issue of Vogue, Dree wears a Gucci dress with sunglasses from Dries Van Noten by Linda Farrow pictured again with the single strand of pearls from Camilla Dietz Bergeron. Vogue comments: “Sartorial mainstays of [Papa] Hemingway’s era–like wire-frame glasses and the single-strand pearl necklace–continue to have fresh appeal for new generations.”
Camilla Dietz Bergeron: cultured pearl necklace (May Vogue), $5,500; single-strand necklace (June Vogue), $250; 14kt gold bracelet watch, $2,750
Dior: resin-pearl earrings, $295
Ellagem: 18mm South Sea pearl necklace, $320,000
House of Lavande: three-strand necklace, $448
Mikimoto: Akoya cultured pearl strand with yellow gold clasp, $2,980
Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane: pearl necklace, $1,695; heart pendant necklace, $1,695