Bijoux lovers take note: fall's big style statement dangles from a single lobe. Sartorialist visionaries Phoebe Philo at Celine and Nicolas Ghesquiere at Louis Vuitton shifted fashion's ear cuff obsession (a look catapulted to supreme fashion status by Gaia Repossi) to a southerly direction at their fall presentations. Yet, it's not the first time this look has made its mark with the style set. Madonna and her style collaborator Maripol made it iconic in the eighties alongside those black bracelets, chunky chains and layered rosaries.
A style guru in her own right, Maripol was the art director of the famed Fiorucci boutique and designed much of Madonna's jewelry during the Madonna and "Like a Virgin" period. But the look's current revival on the French runways offers a more cerebral and pared down alternative to the pop crooner's east village street style. Philo, for instance, references found objects and the Dadaist collage of German artist Hannah Hoch as inspiration, while Ghesquiere's versions smack of industrial design (some pieces feature a similar rubbery finish found on the shelves of artist and designer Martin Szekely, a guest at the show).
Regardless, the single shoulder duster is a cool spin on what is otherwise a familiar and often dressed up look: a pair of chandelier statement earrings. And while asymmetry has long held a place in jewelry's vernacular -- be it a pair of mismatched earrings to a smattering of decorated piercings across both ears -- this latest interpretation has never looked bolder, or chicer. "I think it's great people are experimenting with less traditional ways to wear (and design) jewelry," says Claudia Mata, accessories and jewelry director at W Magazine, "last season we saw a lot of the mismatched earring trend with smaller sized pieces, whereas this single earring trend is bigger and bolder -- it's definitely for those looking to make a statement."
Given Philo's knack for jump-starting trends with longevity, odds are we'll be watching the look trickle back down fashion's ladder. Still, it does require a sort of personal panache to translate off the runway. Mata adds, "Unlike the popular ear cuff (which is a design concept so you must actually purchase one), the single earring phenomena is all about styling and is therefore more accessible."
Kathryn Typaldos, a New York based fashion stylist for magazines such as W and Harper's Bazaar suggests a personal interpretation of the trend, "I really love the single earring trend. It was a bit of a flashback moment revisited in a fresh, modern way," adding, "I would take this trend off the runway and make it a bit more casual by mismatching a more statement earring with a stud. I'm a big proponent of under dressing (jeans, perfect white T-shirt) with a statement piece of jewelry, a bold lip and a sick pair of shoes."
I, too, embrace the irreverent look. It's just the smart accent I need to pair with my Zero + Maria Cornejo jumpsuit for a Thursday evening gallery walk in Chelsea.