Fine jewelry is a substantial purchase, meant to last. But who says that means the style has to be safely traditional — or even symmetrical? Today's edgy fine jewelry designs may be redefining the notion of a wear-it-forever heirloom.
There is no denying the staying power of a $4,950 pair of diamond-bedecked hoop earrings by Louis Vuitton — even when they are mismatched by design. And while a pearl necklace may sound like a safe investment, we are not talking that timeless strand of cultured pearls from Tiffany & Co. or Mikimoto, but rather a sculptural, fashion-forward $15,200 pearl-embellished collar necklace by Brazilian designer Ana Khouri, whose jewels are worn by the likes of Madonna and Jennifer Lawrence.
Even body chains have been elevated to elegance since Jennifer Aniston stepped out at the SAG Awards in January in black tie attire and a $5,200 black diamond body chain by Los Angeles-based Amrit Jewelry. Diane Kruger wore a version by local jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche to Coachella last month.
Newer fine jewelry brands are showcasing an array of harmonious styles — particularly ear cuffs, jackets, climbers, studs, hoops and bars — meant to be collected and worn singly, mixed or mismatched. Aiche has built her brand on this layered look and says that her earring category has grown more than 100% in the last two years since she introduced ear jackets, worn as a decorative backing with any stud earring.
Those mismatched Louis Vuitton Monogram Idylle hoops, worn singly or with the French fashion brand's coordinating $1,030 single ear studs, can create a wardrobe of looks — and are arguably as versatile as diamond stud earrings.
"We are seeing more people embrace asymmetry and multiple lobe piercings," says New York-based jewelry designer and body piercing veteran Maria Tash, who has been selling upscale, Indian-inspired single earrings for more than 20 years under the label Venus by Maria Tash.
"People do not feel like they have to have matching first hole studs or matching first lobe rings. [They are] treating each earlobe piercing as its own autonomous vehicle to adorn."