The broadening of fine jewellery horizons has been heavily influenced by fashion in recent years, and has resulted in a brighter, more technicolour interpretation of luxury for all of us: a huge array of gemstones, pearls and precious materials is now welcomed by both jewellery designers and consumers alike.
This year, pearls were frequently seen on the catwalks of New York, Paris, London and Milan fashion weeks, and were most often adorning statement earrings, which continue to thrive as one of the biggest trends in jewellery of the past seasons. The autumn and winter runways were also filled with surprisingly electric colour combinations – vivid hues which are usually reserved for the summer are now lighting up the darker months.
The key to dressing – both in fashion and accessories – with bright colours in this unconventional manner entails mixing tonal hues and contrasting textures, to create a rich, luxurious look. The inherent sparkle of a faceted gemstone next to the visceral luminescence of pearls produces a juxtaposition of transparent and opaque which attracts the eye and sparks curiosity!
The spectrum of colours which are manifested in Tahitian pearls can be painterly, with some single pearls exhibiting a rainbow of tones. Nowhere else in nature is this specific type of lustre achieved, and combining the hues which are displayed by pearls with complimentary gemstone colours is a chic and refined take on modern fine jewellery with a fashionable edge. Bi-coloured tourmalines are the gemstone world’s polychromatic answer to the pearl: showcasing more than one colour simultaneously, and responding to the type of light that the gem is being viewed under. This makes them the perfect pairing for the Tahitian pearl, and this symbiosis is exemplified in Assael’s latest collection.
Coloured gemstones work alongside pearls to encourage the beauty of the pearl’s undertones, and the best way to show off this new trend? Contemporary geometric designs and refined settings. The natural lustre of pearls and the variety of colours and sizes which nature produces makes them a design element that can be a singular focal point of a jewel, as well as a complementing feature. An example of this is in the ring from the latest collection: a statement Tahitian pearl sits proudly in the very centre of the jewel between two green garnets, while in the jade drop earrings the same type of pearl plays a more subtle role as a simple stud which a striking green jade carving is attached to.
Bringing together coloured gemstones and Tahitian pearls in this way is truly stepping away from the norm. The days of dressing in pearls meaning wearing only a white, matching set are long gone!
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