Today’s magazine headlines tout Statement Necklaces - as if someone just discovered a new form of self-expression. Stylists and editors suggest that wearing attention-grabbing accessories that complement an outfit and also say something about the wearer is cutting edge fashion… but really - haven't necklaces always been statement necklaces?
The truth is that accessories - jewelry, and specifically necklaces, have long been worn as an expression of personality or a statement of some sort. Current styles feature necklaces in large-format stones in bold, vivid tones, often with smatterings of bling peppered amidst a collar of color. These necklaces can be fun and flattering and indeed they do make a statement -just like pearls worn by Coco Chanel, Jacqueline Kennedy and Barbara Bush. Love beads worn by Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and both Sonny and Cher? You can bet your Victorian cameo choker, these are all necklaces that speak volumes about the wearer.
Signature necklaces that have been in a woman’s jewelry box for years can be mixed with newer options for fresh new looks. Turquoise Twist, a long strand by Carol Dauplaise mixes well with metal chains and pearls a la the aforementioned Madame Chanel. Adding long necklaces to an ensemble, anywhere from 24-30” will create a long, lean line, and opting for strands with texture or visual interest can detract from a full bustline or midsection and make a woman seem tall and slender.
Other options include those collarbone sweeping styles in colors that complement skin tone, eyes and outfit. Imagine this against a subtle tan - just add jeans and a tee or tunic and let this collar necklace highlight a brilliant smile. This tribal necklace seems to say, ‘I’ve traveled. I've seen interesting parts of the world and I have stories to tell.
Think about it: a necklace may well be one of the oldest art forms and fashion statements in the history of humanity. Ancient tribes adorned themselves with bones and stones, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans kicked it up by adorning themselves in gold, each one a personal statement of the wearer’s taste or status. American Indians created necklaces that were a commentary of rite and ritual in styles that remain on trend today.
Michael Kors said, “I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit.” Necklaces, then, must be the perfect punctuation point for every woman.
By Elisabeth Cook
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