Fresh Pearls

The totem of the moment gets a little edgy. By Christene Barberich & Piera Gelardi
We're on the same page with Karl and Coco when we say we pretty much think pearls are always in fashion. Like a good denim jacket, simple, elegant—and, hopefully, a hand-me-down—pearls get a lifetime guarantee of coolness. But even though we're perfectly happy to don a long strand of pearly whites (you'll see them around our office regularly), we're intrigued to see so many designers embracing these marine gems—and some of their faux counterparts—in a fresh way.
Across the board, our favorites all exchanged signs of old-school stuffiness for something younger, darker, and more mysterious. British designer Hannah Martin accents her luxe black pearls with polished and bejeweled spikes, while Brooklyn's Made Her Think toughens up the traditional pearl choker (crafted from smooth Mother of Pearl) with shiny sinister studs. Others like Karen Walker, Ligia Dias, and Annie Costello Brown all reclaimed this classic deep-sea treasure as their own, too. So what if grandma might now wear them, we're pretty sure she'd still approve.
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Above, from left:
Emma Franklin Tahitian pearl necklace, about $520, special order through www.emmafranklin.net.
Karen Walker Freshwater Black Pearl Choker with White Gold Clasp Lion, $2,550, for availability, go to www.karenwalkerjewellery.com.
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Above, from left:
Hannah Martin Black Akoya Pearl Clasp Necklace with Black Diamonds and Ruby Beads, about $6,000, available at Nina and Lola, or go to www.hannah-martin.com.
Hannah Martin Black Akoya Pearl Necklace with Yellow-Gold Spur Pendant, about $5,000, available at Nina and Lola, or go to www.hannah-martin.com.
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Above, from left:
Annie Costello Brown Layered Faux Pearl and Leather Necklace, $295, available at Des Kohan.
Tom Binns Tough Chic 5-Strand Black Pearl Necklace, price on request, for availability, go to www.tombinnsdesign.com.
Annie Costello Brown Layered Faux Pearl and Leather Bracelet, $195, available at Des Kohan.
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Above, from left:
Made Her Think Sirens and Stones Necklce with Mother of Pearl "Pearls", $484, available through, go to www.madeherthink.com.
Made Her Think Diamonds N Stones Necklace with Mother of Pearl "Pearls", $266, available through www.madeherthink.com.
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Above, from left:
Melissa Joy ManningTangled Fresh Water Pearl Necklace, $685, for availability, go to www.melissajoymanning.com.
Ligia Dias Corde & Dentelle Rope, Cord, and Glass Pearl Necklace, $310, available at Holt Renfrew.
Melissa Joy Manning Tangled Fresh Water Pearl Necklace with Silk Wrap Chain, $750, for availability, go to www.melissajoymanning.com.
The totem of the moment gets a little edgy.
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