Go long on earrings this season
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Nothing feels more appropriately elegant in jewellery right now than a long, slender earring cascading almost to the collarbone. It’s a languid approach to glamour and dressing up that fits the time we’re in. That time is, of course, 100 years after an era famous for its elongated silhouette. “The 1920s defined the long earring,” says vintage jewellery dealer Jennifer Gibson, whose collections are stocked at Selfridges and Fenwick. “The flappers flipped that hourglass shape of the Victorian and Edwardian periods. The length of skirts came up and there was this whole sleek, long, column style of dress. The hair was typically bobbed – even above the jaw – and that left this expanse between cheekbone and chest. So earrings elongated, drawing attention to the décolletage.”
Today, short hair, long hair, no hair – it doesn’t matter. A long, slender earring enhances any look. And luxury fashion houses are certainly into the idea. At Saint Laurent, long crystal strands worn with heavily embellished choker necklaces over colourful bouclé jackets gave an ’80s razziness to Anthony Vaccarello’s vintage-meets-rock ’n’ roll vibe for the season. The French house is also offering a single-strand threader style earring in gold, rose-gold or silver tones, with a tiny monogram charm that hangs below the lobe. At Givenchy’s show, if the models weren’t huddled into hoods and balaclavas, they wore one single long earring, the asymmetry lending a casual off-ness that spoke of not trying too hard to be fabulous – while absolutely looking it.
Paco Rabanne employs its signature chainmail on elegant long earrings, recalling the linked construction of its 1969 Nano bag in gold- and silver-toned aluminium. The 10cm drop brushes the shoulder. Hermès also plays on house signatures in classic trans-seasonal pieces, with the clochette – the leather casing that houses the keys on its Kelly and Birkin bags – featuring in a rose-gold drop earring rather like a precious, fashionable Monopoly piece.
At heritage jewellery maisons, too, long strands have taken centre stage. Graff, inspired by Cy Twombly, has earrings of twirling white gold accented with diamonds; while Tiffany’s Elongated Wire Bar earrings form a dramatic, diamond-studded capital T.
“There is an appetite for dressing-up, and customers want to return to having fun,” says Eleanor Robinson, director of accessories at Selfridges. “I think there’s something about these earrings that feels rather decadent.” She points to British brand Completedworks, which has a line of statement drops: its Running For The Hills earrings are two strands of unevenly sized freshwater pearls that twist around each other and fall below the jawline. For a more pared-back feel, look to Cape Town-based ethical jewellery brand Pichulik and its Aisa earrings in nude or black rope, available from UK retailer Akojo Market.
Danish circular jewellery brand Kinraden has recently introduced a collection of linked designs of varying lengths in a mix of 18-carat recycled gold and sterling silver. They are based on a Japanese wood joinery technique without the use of external joints or elements. The links fit neatly together, producing soft movement when worn on the body.
Fellow Danish jeweller Sophie Bille Brahe has elongated drop styles in diamonds and pearls to suit the dazzling minimalist. The Georgia Grande is an 18-carat gold chain design with pavé-set diamonds, while the single Sandro Nuit – one of Bille Brahe’s favourites – features a total of 1.69 carats of diamond graduating in size. “I love the way it hangs with a fluid curve like the smooth silhouette of a wave.”