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signature necklace sets

BIG, BOLD, BRAZEN AND BOISTEROUS:  this season’s new signature necklaces literally shout out their presence and force everything else in fashion to take a back-seat.  These wildly strong necklaces are growing in popularity, even as they give handbags hot competition for Number One placement on the accessories popularity list. . When you look at someone wearing one of these signature pieces, your eye is immediately pulled toward the jewelry. That is what you see!  What are we talking about specifically? Top level fashion jewelry, with all the excitement and beauty necklaces have to offer, in all of many different materials and designs.


But…before we get started on the marketable, let’s take a look at the runway jewelry, over-the-top, admittedly, but signature pieces that quickly explain what this new trend is all about.  Take, for example, the huge triple gold strand necklace from Phillip Lim, with its massive blue and red/black disks that bring attention to the entire bodice, neckline almost to waist.  Or, a Gucci necklace of antiqued, gold, black, and orange/brass coins on chain that drops down the center of the bodice in double strands. Or, a massive necklace filling in the space from the shoulders to the waist and flaunting big diamond-shaped silver slivers on a black dress from Emilio Pucci.


HOW ASSERTIVE CAN JEWELRY GET?  Take big, heavy, multiple silver chains rolled together and worn as a single, huge necklace statement, falling almost to the waist. Sounds wild?  Well, it’s on the runways! And Givenchy takes the idea a step further with a dramatic necklace assortment of chains…maybe 30 silver and gold chains connected into a single jewelry piece at the back of the neck, with lots of little silver charms (like crosses, circles and hearts) hanging off. Whew!  It is exhausting just looking at this concoction, much less contemplating the weight of wearing it! 


But…this is the style, extreme as it may be, and fashionistas bent on taking ideas to the limit will want the look. For such, there is still more.  Prada, for example, presents a very big, very black, very incomprehensible, geometric “U” shaped sculpture hanging off a heavy black chain.  It takes up the entire bodice of a suit or blouse. Crazy?  You bet!


But most signature necklaces are very attractive and not at all so extreme.  Some factors to think about for signature necklaces:

 black glass necklace set

  • COLOR:  It can make the jewelry piece, giving it styling pizzazz. Glass is just one of many different materials that offer wonderful color: green, blue, crimson.  Think about Murano glass for a really classy, upscale effect. Black, of course, always gets major emphasis in jewelry, especially this season when black is so popular. Jet black faceted glass beads give a very intense look, especially in large signature pieces.


tribal inspired high fashion jewelry

  • TRIBAL IMAGES: Africana impressions are especially fitting to the signature necklace look, since tribal pieces are almost always bold.  These effects can be total, as in a tribal necklace that is almost totally taken from the Dark Continent.  Or, they can be partial; i.e., using some African designs along with more Western-oriented styles.  Like slivers of silver hanging down from a silver choker.  Or big handmade-looking natural beads in simulated or real wood.  


necklace with animal print pendant

  • PENDANTS:  Many signature necklaces use pendants as part of their overall design.  Often, the pendants as big and artsy, with animal print designs, abstract line, or special materials, such as mother-of-pearl.  Handmade-looking pendants are important here, as are one-of-kind looking pieces.  The more unique or different the piece, the more likely it will sell big!




turquoise cross necklace set

  • MEDIEVAL SIGNS: Europe circa 1400.  That’s the hot idea.  After all, just think about those ecclesiastical necklaces worn by the clergy way back then. A take-off on these ideas, complete with gemstone embellishments, real or faux, is perfect for the trendy 2008/9 style. Practically any large interpretation of rosary beads, Christian or Asian, fits the bill, too. 


LASTING POWER:  The latest runway shows gave physical assurance that the signature necklace trend is not about to go away soon.  Louis Vuitton, for example, put forth a big silver artsy necklace with a circular pendant hanging down from thin sheets of ribbed silver. A particularly wild and yet fun signature necklace from Dries Van Noten was done in multi-bright-colored bakelite rings.  It looked like 20 or more bracelets strung together and worn hanging down under a black fox neck ring.


Balenciaga dropped a peacock-like center pendant of black metal and dark blue stones off a large matched stone chain for real runway excitement.  And Salvatore Ferragamo worked with a carved chunk of dark stone hanging long on a thin metal chain. –Some of these pieces admittedly looked like they belong more in a museum than on a model’s neck.    

Even if you are inclined toward the more conservative or conventional, don’t dismiss signature necklaces out-of-hand.  They work well with the present glitzy movement, and often give it a new sense of class and even refinement with their art-form shapes and designs. And interestingly, the more you get used to things big and bigger, the more just-the-right-size these oversized pieces seem to be!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, July 14th, 2008

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