I think pearls get a bad rap these days. People either hate them or can't live without them. There's very little middle ground with pearls. In these modern aesthetic times, they feel a bit dated. Unless they're completely mutated, over- sized baroque pearls that look like they've been on an all-nighter with Joan Rivers. I'll admit it; I'm a sucker for those unconventional, "dirty stay out" pearls.
But here's the thing: pearls bring something to the party that no other beads bring and that's luster, my friend. They have a translucence that captures magical colors from the spectrum and bounces them around to create depth and shine. I think white pearls are indisputably pretty, and they mix well and wear well with everything.
And I think white pearls play in important role. Similar to planting a garden, I've always believed that having white in the mix is essential because makes other colors and elements pop. White provides contrast and brightens, and when you add luster it takes an aesthetic to a whole other level.
Here's a fine example. My friend Jeni has several of Relica's pieces, but feels she comes up short on her layering game. One day in my studio, she said she wasn't really into pearls. I got on my soap box and showed her how much they enhance a bracelet stack or layered necklaces. You don't have to channel Barbara Bush or Jackie Kennedy - just sprinkle some in!
The next day I got this:
She texted, "I haven't worn this pearl necklace in years!" I have my opinions about the science of layering jewelry (more on that later), but you can see how the white and luster of her pearls add another dimension to this simple look. She could have added another beaded necklace, which would have worked, but it wouldn't have brightened like the pearls do. And I love the way her pearls mimic the gold bronze satellite necklace.
Unexpected bonus? Notice the contrast of the pearls and the plaid. It's cool! The look is unforced but thoughtful. It's casual and outdoorsy with a touch of "girlie." And it's definitively Jeni!
I believe those long-lost pearls will be joining her daily repertoire. It was so much fun to see her connect with her own style, without buying another necklace.
This could be a spring board to fully understanding what she likes and how jewelry shares her story.
So set your pearls free! You'll be pleased by how well they play with others.