“A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.”
– Coco Chanel
For thousands of years, pearls have been valued as prized possessions, owing to their beauty and supposed magical capabilities. And in the fashion world, one name is synonymous with the precious pearl – Gabrielle “Coco” Bonheur Chanel.
Her classic Chanel Suit consisted of a knee length skirt and cardigan-style jacket adorned with gold buttons. A strand, or multiple strands, of pearls were de rigueur. In fact, Coco Chanel commissioned the famous long strand of white and black pearls for the house of Chanel from jeweler Robert Goossens in 1953.
Coco Chanel; Chanel Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear
In modern times, scientists have refined the process of pearl cultivation. The coveted gems are judged by five criteria including luster, clean surface, shape, color, and size. Only a small percentage of those harvested meet the high standards of the industry, eventually making their way to the consumer market.
Today, the house of Chanel uses South Sea pearls, Akoya pearls, freshwater pearls from China, and cultured Tahitian pearls. And for Spring 2013, pearls popped up across many designer collections in varying ways. Rather than simply adorning a neck or wrist, we spotted pearls in the most unique places. Many brought Coco to mind.
Below, we’ll share a few pearls from the runway, as well as picks for adding the Chanel-approved accessory to your own collection.
Pearls On The Runway
Diego Binetti stacked models’ fingertips in playful press-on nails with pearl embellishments.
Inspired by Chanel, indeed, were DSquared’s piles of pearls for this spring.
Joy Cioci adorned gowns and headdresses with pearls.
Rihanna caused a stir in her own vintage Chanel faux pearl-rimmed sunglasses at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Shop The Trend
An enduring classic from Tiffany & Co., we adore the 16-inch freshwater cultured pearl necklace ($400, left). Quite the steal is Anthropologie’s vintage-inspired pearl clip ($9.95, right) to adorn the hair or clothing.
Additional Research by Natalie Starnes.
(Photo credits, from top: 1. Lipnitzki/Roger Violett, 2. Man Ray and Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com, 3. DiegoBinetti.com, 4. DSquared2.com, 5. JoyCioci.com, 6. Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com, 7. Tiffany.com and Anthropologie.com)