It’s gonna be a Hot Pearl Summer!
Pearls have been a rising star in jewelry for years now. Evidence: the pearl necklace has become a wildly popular look for all (nearly every young male celebrity has worn a strand in the past year). Pearl rings are a top trend in bridal and in everyday fine jewelry. And chunky, amorphous-shaped baroque pearls refuse to leave the spotlight.
So it comes as no surprise that pearls are also having a moment in the contemporary jewelry scene. Here are my top pearl picks in that market.
Chloe Valorso, a self-annointed “Spirit Jeweler,” specializes in hand-wrought animal jewels (wolves, snakes, spiders!) and beaded necklaces featuring smiley faces. The above necklace, featuring lines of pearls, is one of her newer styles.
Pearl Octopuss.y is a fashion brand with a contemporary bent. Based in Oslo, much of the brand’s work forays into the experimental in terms of scale, material and functionality. The Fat Diamond Snake (above, in both photos) can be worn in multiple ways, and is the perfect oversized pearl accessory.
Sarah Madeleine Bru’s pearl work includes one-offs inspired by her work as a sculptor—truly, her vision is art-inspired.
When experimental Estonian jewelry artist Claudia Lepik gets her hands on pearls, you know it’s going to be interesting. Shown here are an earring and ear cuff made by Lepik in collaboration with 2WO+1NE.
The perfect addition to a pearl necklace stack is the latest drop in artist Hansel Tai’s Pierced Pearl series. Also based in Estonia, meet Tai’s new Pierced Pearl Rope (above) which teams traditional piercing jewelry with hand-selected baroque pearls.
Both a jeweler and a medical doctor, Amsterdam-based Olga Van Doorn believes finding beauty in life is a necessity. This viewpoint unfurls in her intricate, organic wearable works of art. Shown at top is the striking Berries on a Small Branches earpiece and above are the stacking Inclusion Rings featuring pearls set in 24k gold.
Claimed by both the fine jewelry and the contemporary jewelry worlds, Melanie Georgacopoulos is a visionary in both. Since 2010, she’s been redefining how pearls and Mother of Pearl are used in jewelry. Her often-illusionary work is breathtaking. Above, see her sliced pearl necklace created for the brand M/G TASAKI (where Georgacopoulos heads up design).