Pearl Strands: From Persians Princess To The Paris Runway

It looks like 2017 is set to be the year of the pearl.

Elegant and timeless, pearls took the catwalks by storm during 2016 Paris and Milan fashion week, with several international designers employing the natural wonder to adorn and elevate their collections. Their versatility was on show this season, with designers using them throughout jewellery, ready-to-wear and footwear, and once again solidifying their enduring position in the spotlight. 

Coco Chanel was known for her love of these living gems, and the Fall 2016 Chanel show displayed pearls en masse. Chanel designer and visionary, Karl Lagerfeld, styled layer upon layer of the gem in numerous, mismatched strands for maximum visual impact. At Miu Miu, designer Miuccia Prada worked with a simple, singular strand necklace, and for a playful edge, sandals were embellished with pearls for an eye-catching accessory. Newly revamped luxury fashion house Gucci showcased an eccentric take on the loafer, with pearls studded along the heel of the shoe. 

At Linneys, we know that pearls are no fleeting trend.

With a long history, pearls are embedded in myth, legend and symbol. Coveted for centuries by the aristocracy and renowned as the world’s first gem, the oldest pearl was found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess dating back to 420BC. They were offered as gifts to royalty in ancient China, and were seen as the ultimate status symbol amongst the wealthy and elite in early Roman times, where they became so popular that Julius Caesar decreed they were only to be worn by women of the elite classes.  In Egypt, Cleopatra famously crushed one of her pearl earrings into a goblet of wine to prove to Marc Antony that she could host the most expensive dinner party in history. 

Pearl strands were especially popular during the 1920’s, an era that was a time of revolution and has become defined by its style. Ropes and ropes of pearls were worn by women in multiple layers and at varying lengths. Longer pearl strands were favoured initially in the early part of the century, however, trend dictated that they became progressively shorter. By the fifties and sixties, a short pearl strand was the epitome of class and status among women. The pearl resurgence in the eighties was led by Madonna, who promoted pearls to popular culture, wearing long strands among layers of bead necklaces and silver crucifixes. 

Pearls come in a whole range of different qualities, but only the very best are destined to become part of a Linneys pearl strand. The Australian South Sea pearl strands at Linneys are peerless; with each matched pearl being hand-selected, sometimes taking years to complete. Premium golden pearls from the the gold-lipped oyster or the Tahitian pearls of the black-lipped oyster are also featured in the range of pearl strands at Linneys. They provide a depth and radiance that is found in no other kind of pearl in the world.  Meticulously threaded by hand using artisanal methods and available in a select range of lengths colours and styles, each Linneys pearl strand is unique, making them among the finest in world.