Why Earrings Are The New 'It' Bag

Why Earrings Are The New 'It' Bag
Pandora Sykes

Why now's the time to go big or go home...

My great earring epiphany came during last London Fashion Week. It was post Peter Pilotto show while standing in a queue for the loo. The freelance journalist (and co-host of The High Low podcast) Pandora Sykes was in front of me and as we nattered trying to distract our bladders from the unconfirmed waiting time I spotted she was sporting one of the most ‘It’ items of the street style posse. When it comes to fashion month and street style, using the word ‘It’ in relation to clothes and accessories is one really, to be used lightly, as these pieces are often as abundant as a tabloid with sensational headlines referring to model sizes. But while this season the frow flaunted printed Gucci Princetown slippers, miniature Loewe elephant bags, Vetements sock boots and Burberry Macs shrugged off shoulders, for those really in the know, i.e. who photographers like Tommy Ton and Le 21eme can’t get enough street style shots of, the accessory du jour was all about what was swinging from their lobes.

Forget the ‘It’ bag, we’re currently in the height of the ‘It’ earring. In Pandora’s case an enamel cobalt blue pair with a cut out face from J.W. Anderson and sold exclusively on Style.com. Akin to a Jean Cocteau sketch, but slightly more durable they retail for £520. ‘The great thing about a statement earring is typically, even an expensive earring is a fraction of the cost of a designer handbag, or a pair of heels,’ Pandora says. ‘I find the financial outlay a lot more digestible. And unlike an IT bag, I don’t go off my statement earrings. I know I will keep alternating all my buys, for years to come!’ 

And it seems Pandora is not alone in her investment style of thinking. Search for earrings on Net-A-Porter and you’ll get over 650 results with prices ranging from £40 for an oversized pair of hoops from NY jewellery mecca Catbird to £26,53 for a 8-karat gold and sterling silver earrings from Amrapali, set with emerald and tanzanite. Recently, the Italian fine jewellery house Buccellati launched on the site, the very first time the house has ever done e-commerce with the majority of prices ranging from £5,000 to £50,000. ‘I think consumers are more and more willing to purchase fine jewellery online, says Mariacristina Buccellati, Global Communications Director of Buccellati. ‘We are in a world which is moving faster and faster. 7.4 millions of Millennials browse and buy on the Internet. Our jewellery is very much sought-after for its style and timeless beauty and now it is easier to be found.’ 

Ellery AW17

This ear obsession isn’t exactly new, but when it comes to size we’ve gone from zero to XXL in a couple of months. Towards the end of last year it was all about tiny multiple ear piercings, with people fanatically obsessing over ear anatomy and mastering a new lexicon casually chatting about their helix, tragus and a daith while waiting to be served in Starbucks. Piercing parties became the new Saturday pedi catch-up, Instagram was spammed with ear selfies and when the celebrity piercer Maria Tash whose fans include Beyoncé and FKA Twigs, had people willingly queuing for over two hours at her London pop-ups, it resulted in her setting up a permanment space in London to cater for the demand. But now things have got, well, a whole lot bigger. ‘Statement earrings are popular right now because fashion is enjoying drama right now: exaggerated shoulders, flouncy sleeves, all things hot pink,’ says Pandora. ‘At its basic level, it’s because of the tumultuous political climate - women are reaching for strong, overtly feminine signifiers - but also, it’s just a trend that’s enjoying its moment in the sun, thanks to a slew of great, young designers.’

And there was a hell of a lot of lobe stretching on the spring summer 17 runways, from burnished discs at Creatures of the Wind, to asymmetrical shapes at Monse and shoulder grazing arty versions at Proenza Schouler. And this bigger the better trend isn’t slowing down for autumn winter 17 either with mismatched giant gold structures at Ellery, diamante belt-buckles styles at Balenciaga and scalloped hoops at Simone Rocha. Backstage after her show, Simone spoke about her diverse customers: ‘Mothers, daughters, and granddaughters,’ reflected in the equally diverse casting. She explained often these women of all ages end up buying the same thing. ‘They want something that feels special. A lot of the time it’s a pair of earrings. They fit everybody.’ 

Simone Rocha AW17

 

This notion of ear like inclusivity is something Tilly Macalister-Smith, Editorial Director at Diane von Furstenberg in New York also agrees with: ‘They are the easiest gift to self as you can find something fun and affordable and uplifting, or a super special pair for a treat that you will keep forever. And just like great shoes, earrings always fit!’ Her love for all things lobed has led her to founding an Instagram account @earafterear where she curates ‘the world’s best face furniture.’ ‘I pretty much abide by the concept of dinner table dressing,’ she explains. ‘Which means you put your focus in the top of your look – the parts you see when you’re sitting at a dinner table – and I find it a really easy but impactful way of dressing: you can be wearing jeans and sneakers but with an off-the-shoulder shirt and a fabulous earrings and you look like you’ve made an effort, but it’s the easiest thing! It’s also a great tactic for Skype meetings!’ 

Balenciaga AW17

 

And while according to Lisa Aiken, Retail Fashion Director, Net-A-Porter, Saint Laurent, Loewe & Chloé have all been bestsellers for the site alongside Lanvin and Alessandra Rich’s diamante earrings, the high-street is also churning out chunky styles too. Urban Outfitters account for earrings being their fastest-growing category of jewellery, and at Topshop, Assistant Buyer Sophie Ellis says their greatest demand is for ‘drop and elevated hoop styles.’ While Mango has one of the strongest edits among the fast fashion retailers, think gold coloured tear drops and giant swinging quartz. It seems when it comes to lobe adornment, it really is time to go big or go home. And if you're thinking of getting a new piercing, this is your ultimate ear piercing guide on which part of the ear to go for and how much it will cost. 

 

The Statement Earrings To Snap Up In Now 

Alighieri Gold Hoop Earrings 

Available at Alighieri | £220

Christopher Kane Stone Drop Earrings, £225, FarFetch 

Christopher Kane

J.W. Anderson Spheres Earrings, £314, FarFetch 

J.W.Anderson

Gucci Loved Pendant Earrings, £640, Browns Fashion 

Gucci

Balenciaga Glass Earrings, £295, Browns Fashion 

Balenciaga

Cornelia Webb Gold-Plated, Pearl and Mother of pearl Earring, £100, Net-a-Porter 

Cornelia Webb

Fendi, Gold-tone Stone Earring, £320, Net-a-Porter 

Fendi

Delfina Delettrez 18-Karat Gold, Diamond and Sapphire Earring, £2180, Net-a-Porter

Delfina Delettrez

Mango, Stars earrings, £9.99, Mango

Topshop, Stone drop earrings, £12.50, Topshop

Zara, Party earrings with tassels, £12.99, Zara

Marte Frisnes, Avalon quartz and gold plated earrings, £155, Matches

Dannijo, Delano oxidized silver-plated Swarovski crystal and turquoise earrings, £435, Net A Porter

Jennifer Fisher, Long pipe silver-plated earring, £240, Net A Porter

Jennifer Fisher, XL Root gold-plated earrings, £390, Net A Porter

Annie Costello Brown, Mini Rain sterling silver earrings £275, Net A Porter

Percossi Papi, Gold-plated multi-stone earrings, £1020, Net A Porter

Loewe, Tribal-mask drop earring, £250, Matches

 

 

 

 
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