High fashion is starting to distance itself from streetwear in favor of a more classic and prim silhouette. And nothing conveys this shift to more traditional ladylike style quite like the pearl necklace — a piece that’s shaping up to be one of fall’s biggest trends.
Just ask Y/Project’s Glenn Martens. For his fall ’20 collection presented on Monday in Paris, Martens reinterpreted his signature deep-v pumps with a bracelet of chunky pearls. This skirted the silhouette of the foot much as a necklace does the décolleté.
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“We always elaborate so this season we wanted to give it a bit of decoration,” he told FN backstage of the accessories.
Martens further bridged the gap between streetwear and fashion’s new elegant attitude via an increased focus on tailoring as applied to casual materials like denim and jersey. Just like the shoes, his sartorial high-waist pants had a plunging deep v shape at the front (they will be sold with modesty-preserving cycle shorts). The idea is borrowed from the busk and crinoline combination of Elizabethan era costume. “Even if we use streetwear-inspired fabrics there’s always some opulence and elegance,” he said.
Christelle Kocher of Koché styled both her own label’s Paris show and that of Pucci’s — she collaborated with the label in Milan — with multiple strands of pearls. At the Koché show, pearls were worn by male and female models alike and were toughened up with chunky gold chains.
Meanwhile at Chanel — a label practically synonymous with pearls — Virginie Viard gave the trend a new twist. She applied the stones to lariats, the straps of cross body bags, epaulettes and belts alike, delivering a glossy sheen more daywear-appropriate than diamonds.
For his Roger Vivier presentation in Paris, Gherardo Felloni draped a giant cake installation with trails of pearls. They matched the droplets hanging from his strass buckle Cabas bags.
Looking back, the pearl trend has been in the ascendent since London Fashion Week where it was a headpiece-to-footwear affair at Simone Rocha. Like Kocher, Rocha toughened up delicate strands with gold chains or teamed her baubles with unexpected contrast fabrics such as tweed.
Last word though goes to Richard Quinn who created two full looks inspired by the London’s Pearly Queens and Kings.
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