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Coral: a splash of summer color

By Melissa Magsaysay, Los Angeles Times staff writer

A pop of coral can instantly take a simple summer item from plain to powerful, just by adding a splash of the fiery hue. From the real deal in jewelry containing the branch-like sea life to the imprint of its skeletal silhouette printed on sandals, mini-dresses and beaded maillots, coral in all forms is hitting stores in various pieces and in a refreshing range of prices.

A one-piece bathing suit from Milly has an all-over coral print that’s sliced down the middle by a plunging V-neck and finished with coral-colored piping and some gold beads at the chest and neck string.

Milly one-piece bathing suit , $220 at (
For a head-to-toe look, Lilly Pulitzer’s teal Brayden dress has a coral print that’s finished off with deep coral-colored stones that create a built-in necklace, so you’re immediately accessorized and ready for the summer.

Brayden dress by Lilly Pulitzer, $398 at (Lilly Pulitzer)
If you want to wear the trend in a more understated way, Old Navy has coral-print sandals that give a more subtle hit of the color and print and would look great with a tan and a peachy-pink pedicure.

Old Navy sandals, $7.50 at (Old Navy)
Felix Rey’s line for Target includes an embroidered coral silhouette on a raffia clutch and a coral print on a roomy, white tote bag.

Felix Rey for Target tote bag, $34.99 at Target stores. (Felix Rey for Target)
While coral jewelry adds a natural, beachy element to an outfit, items printed with the sinewy coral shape are bold and just scream summertime.

Felix Rey for Target embroidered clutch, $19.99 at Target stores. (Felix Rey for Target)
L.A.-based designer Pade Vavra recycles vintage red coral in her jewelry to create nature-inspired pieces such as nests and birds.

Pade Vavra ring, $368 at (‘
“I love to use coral in my designs due to its tree-branch silhouette,” Vavra says.

Pade Vavra coral earrings, $345 at (
Larry Platt, owner of Platt Boutique Jewelry in West Hollywood, sells antique and estate pieces and has seen a spike in the vintage coral trend.

Coral and chains by Pade Vavra, $530 at (
“Lately I’ve been seeing it a lot in pendants from the early-1900s Art Nouveau period and from the ’60s and ’70s when bold color started showing up in jewelry,” Platt says.

Pade Vavra tube-shaped-coral necklace, $380 at (
Platt adds that red coral is also emulated in resin or by using lighter colored (and less endangered) coral and dying it a more intensely red hue.

Pade Vavra coral-bird necklace, $185 at (
“The popularity of coral has grown recently because the aesthetic isn’t so serious and people are now looking for ways to tone down the bling in jewelry but still keep an element of fun,” Larry Platt says.

Pade Vavra red-coral beaded necklace, $160 at (
On the higher end, Bottega Veneta has made delicate new coral pendants hanging from coral beaded chains that look great layered with other drapey jewelry

Bottega Veneta coral necklaces, from left, $1,480, $1,480 and $1,550 at Bottega Veneta, Beverly Hills. (Bottega Veneta)
For something bolder on the higher end, John Hardy makes a coral brooch wrapped in diamonds and white gold.

John Hardy coral brooch wrapped in diamonds and white gold, $15,000, available by special order at (888) 838-3022. (John Hardy)
And the motif isn’t limited to fashion. Michael Aram’s coral-shaped candleholder is all aglow, $275 at (Michael Aram)