As the pearl’s standing increases with that of women, a progressive new generation is reimagining Margaret Thatcher’s one-time trademark.
The pearl, insignia of traditional femininity and conservative values, has swung to the left, becoming the badge of the US’s new Democrat establishment. Kamala Harris, the vice-president, has made pearl necklaces her trademark, teaming them on the campaign trail with Converse trainers rather than twinsets. At last month’s inauguration, Jill Biden’s dress had a pearl-embroidered collar, while Jennifer Lopez performed wearing cuffs of Chanel pearls on both wrists. A Facebook group encouraging women around the US to wear pearls on the day to honour Harris’s accomplishments drew a membership of 350,000. The poet Amanda Gorman, star of the ceremony, continued the trend by wearing a crown of pearls for her appearance at the Super Bowl last week.
Pearls are resurgent in fashion, having skipped a generation to become a status symbol among twentysomethings. Disregarded as twee by many baby boomers, they are reemerging in unexpected and bold configurations. Next month, the pearl trend is set to be turbocharged by the designer Simone Rocha’s high-street collaboration with H&M, which features pearls as gleaming toe-caps on black lace-up shoes. Rocha, a three-time winner at the British Fashion Awards, who cites the artist Louise Bourgeois as a muse, makes clothes whose off-kilter silhouettes and theatrical styling seem light-years from the skirt-suit-and-courts image of pearls. Rocha has made the gemstone so central to her designs that while the H&M project was under wraps, her codename was Pearl…
Read more: theguardian.com