How to Wear Pearls with the 2018 Color of the Year: Ultra Violet

(Clockwise) Akoya Pearl and Diamond “Circles” Cuff Bracelet by Assael; The Duchess of Cambridge: Reese Witherspoon at the 88th Academy Awards; Assael Conch Fan Brooch; Classic Diamond and Tahitian Pearl Brooch by Assael.
(Clockwise) Akoya Pearl and Diamond “Circles” Cuff by Assael; The Duchess of Cambridge in Canada: Reese Witherspoon on the Red Carpet; Assael Natural Conch Pearl Fan Brooch; Diamond and Tahitian Pearl Brooch by Assael.

Ever since the Pantone Color Institute announced its 2018 Color of the Year in early December, the world has gone mad for Ultra Violet. Fashion editors, bloggers and Instagrammers everywhere have embraced the blue-based purple hue, not to mention news anchors, talk show hosts, and Red Carpet royalty.

While it would be easy to dismiss this intense, almost neon purple as a passing fancy, it was clearly presaged by the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear collections. So it looks like Ultra Violet (with some subtle variations) will be with us for a while…and we think it makes a magnificent backdrop for cultured pearls of all types.

(Left to Right) Beyond Rare: Assael Angel Skin Coral Necklaces; A model walks the Raf Simons runway at New York Fashion Week, July 2017; Reho Concepts for Assael Golden South Sea Pearl Drop Earrings; Costume National Spring/Summer 2015 Collection at Milan Fashion Week; Purple reigns on the Gucci Cruise 2018 runway in Florence, May 2017.
(Left to Right) Assael Angel Skin Coral Necklaces; On the Raf Simons runway at New York Fashion Week, July 2017; Reho Concepts for Assael Golden South Sea Pearl Drop Earrings; Costume National at Milan Fashion Week, Spring 2015; From the Gucci Cruise 2018 Collection in Florence, May 2017.

Pearls Go With Everything

Whether you choose spring’s romantic lavenders, as seen at Michael Kors and Victoria Beckham, or deeper purples, like those shown at Gucci and Versace, creamy white South Sea pearls and rosé-tone Akoya pearls are the perfect complement. Rare South Sea Golden pearls are particularly effective with fashions in the Ultra Violet family, as gold sits directly opposite purple on the designer’s color wheel. For a striking warm tone alternative, try it with a dash of coral – sophisticated coral jewelry is making a nice comeback this spring.

Tahitian black pearls, introduced to the world by Salvador Assael in the 1970s, display natural overtones of aubergine, with an almost iridescent glow. Whether round or baroque, kaleidoscopic Tahitians will stand up to Ultra Violet…with plenty of dark drama to spare.

(Upper Left) A model on the Barbara Casasola runway in London, 2015; (Upper Right) At the JC Obando Fall 2014 show, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week; Tahitian Pearl Ropes, Earrings and Ring by Assael.
(Upper Left) On the Barbara Casasola runway in London, 2015; (Upper Right) At the JC Obando Fall 2014 show, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week; Tahitian Pearl Necklaces, Earrings and Ring by Assael.

Purple Reign

The color purple has long been associated with royalty, nobility, and vestments of the church. In fact, at one time, commoners were precluded from wearing purple—it was reserved for members of royal families only.

Should you have even the slightest qualm about investing in this regal but somewhat challenging shade for spring, remember that the universe is conspiring to promote Pantone’s Color of the Year: Stay tuned for our coverage of the April 30 Met Gala, themed “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” and the May 19 royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Red + Blue = Purple. (Left) Moonstone, Ruby and Tahitian Pearl Necklace (Right) Moonstone, Sapphire and Akoya Pearl Necklace. Two colorful and luxurious ropes from the Contemporary Collection by Assael.
Red + Blue = Purple. (Left) Moonstone, Ruby and Tahitian Pearl Necklace; (Right) Moonstone, Sapphire and Akoya Pearl Necklace. Two colorful and luxurious ropes from the Contemporary Collection by Assael.