Clearly, the allure of pearls is not fading away anytime soon. Much like crystals, the milky orbs are seeing a newfound appreciation in the world of fashion and jewellery — and that applies to both men and women.
Today, pearls that are strung together in the classic style that Audrey Hepburn immortalised are now worn by the likes of A$AP Rocky and Harry Styles. Then there are the modern ones that come in unexpected, sculptural shapes, looking nothing like your grandmother’s pearls. The oceanic, organic gemstone is even becoming a popular option for engagement rings (see those flaunted by celebrities like Michelle Williams and Emma Stone).
How else can the precious pearl be given a new life? The answer, which can be applied to everything from beauty products to Birkin bags, seems to be a personal touch. A pearl necklace that’s uniquely yours? Or a bracelet with those silky beads spelling out your name? No other piece of jewellery will be so treasured, while being perfectly on-trend when worn.
Below, we explore the different jewellers that are offering pearl jewellery that you can leave your stamp on and stand out of the crowd with.
Wanting to create a fine jewellery line that was more accessible than his eponymous high jewellery one, Wilfredo Rosado launched W. Rosado — with a collection of customisable pearl jewels.
The New York designer was tapping on the familiar childhood pastime of stringing alphabet beads on a necklace to spell your or a friend’s name. Rosado’s take, dubbed “Pearl ID”, is more luxe, of course. The collection uses Australian South Sea pearls that are carved by master cutters in Germany (special machinery had to be made for it), and then inlaid with gold emblems (like a letter or a symbol) crafted in Italy.
All that so that you could have countless customisation options, like an elegant rose gold cuff bookended by pearls bearing your initials, or a pavé diamond ring with a gleaming pearl inlaid with a heart, a star, or even a marijuana leaf. As seen at this year’s Emmy Awards, Sandra Oh preferred a simple message in gold lettering for her Pearl ID necklace: “Love”.
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Dior has always understood the magic of personalisation. The French fashion brand has given its fans the option of adorning their Lady Dior handbag with their favourite charms, or having their Dior Book Tote embroidered with their name. This is also true for the Maison’s fine jewellery line, My ABCDior, which features accessories that are paired with charms of alphabets and symbols.
The line’s Tribales earrings are a subtle way to put your own spin on pearl jewels. Each feature two pearls, one at the stud and a larger one dangling below it; in between sits the charm of your choice in striking, gold-finish metal. There’s also an option for crystal-embellished charms if you prefer an extra glimmer.
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London label Alighieri was founded on the idea of creating modern heirlooms, which is why its pearl jewellery pieces can feel like they’re made just for you. That’s especially because no two pearls are the same; designer Rosh Mahtani likes working with freshwater baroque pearls, whose unique, irregular shapes very much complement the handcrafted and deliberately imperfect bronze medallions that grace her accessories.
Mahtani’s designs may be born out of her musings on poetry (Dante’s Divine Comedy, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land), but there’s still much room for your interpretation in the abstract forms of those baroque pearls and bronze charms.
What does the pendant of the Tales of the Sea necklace symbolise to you? Or what do you think the The Moon Fever necklace represents? For those who prefer not to express themselves so literally, Alighieri’s mystical pearls can do all the talking.
Discover more here.
(Main and featured image: Albert Watson, courtesy of Wilfredo Rosado)
This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Singapore.