From New York to Paris and London, regulars of Fashion Week donned pearls in the most modern and progressive manner.
The real fashion spectacle every Fashion Week happens not on the runways. It unfolds right in front of everyone on the streets. With Fashion Week back in full swing this year, it was to be expected that front row regulars would take to the streets in their season’s best. After all, a year or more of lockdowns and loungewear built up enough excitement over the prospect of stepping out and dressing up again.
In New York city, diversity was the buzz word. Fashion allies running from one show to another in the Big Apple layers of colours, patterns and yes, pearls. There were allusions to a new hybrid of sartorial looks that merged lounge with high luxe. Easy suits, joggers and low rise trousers contrasted brilliantly with cropped or corseted tops, reflecting the sense of freedom shared by most post pandemic. Bold patterns—florals, checks and even hinted at a global aesthetic, perhaps informed by a longing to explore the world again. Others brought back the rebellious and effortless spirit of the 90s topping maxi dresses with punk-inspired coats or jackets.
It was the way that attendees and spectators wore their pearls, however, that stood out the most. Some mixed their gems with colourful beads and gemstones, effecting an elegant yet contemporary take on layering arm candy. Outsized, baroque pearls—regarded by the fashion cognoscenti as the gem to have for seasons on end—were worn as striking statement pieces to mix and match. Men, it appears, were the biggest champions of the pearl revolution. Worn like war amulets around their necks or wrists, pearls have clearly become the fashion staple for the modern gentleman.
The English capital was a study of urban sophistication in the context of a post pandemic world. Style sources at Vogue commented that compared to other Fashion Week congregations, London staged a “smaller schedule and a mix of physical and digital shows.” The style statements that filled the streets, however, were larger than life.
In true London fashion, men were dapper in ensembles impeccably cut following contemporary silhouettes. There was an evident inclination for monochromatic colorways, punctuated by the year’s biggest statement piece—pearls. Women also took to the streets in sleek suits, coats and vests that pay homage to preppy chic classics inspired by Oxford. There were also stand out outfits that showcased the capital’s unique take on acid punk prints and colour blocking. Regardless of the genre or era, the sartorial show served by the United Kingdom was anchored on one new cultural phenomenon: the revitalization of pearls.
Milan was the undisputed land of glitz and grunge when it hosted a busy calendar of physical shows for the third leg of Fashion Week. Attendees returned to the streets with a reignited love for dressing in denims—lots of them, too. Chunky boots, as seen in the current collections of Bottega Veneta, also took center stage. Exploring Milan during this year’s Fashion Week was almost like being transported back to the 90s.
Ensembles that amped up the glamour were punctuated by pearls—worn as statement earrings, chokers or layered with other chains. These natural gems contrasted beautifully against a brocade suit, a sheer punk-inspired top, a knit jumper or even a bodysuit. A touch of grit, glam and grunge, set against the subtle luster of pearls, were this season’s most palpable expression of la dolce vita.
No other style capital shines brighter than the City of Lights during Paris Fashion Week. It is during this time of each year when the most notable names in the realm of style gather to celebrate and emulate French je ne sais quoi. Effortlessly chic and deliberately modern, Parisian street style this year presented a medley of looks that were fresh, cool and crisp.
There were timeless garments like the trench, little white dress and dinner jacket, which were reimagined through innovative layers and proportions. Pops of mandarin, mustard and Cherry Blossom pink contrasted beautifully against the picturesque cityscape of Paris in the fall. Themonsieurs were also up to the task of lighting up fashion capital via cable knits, candy-colored overalls and a pair of wide-leg teal cords. The gem du jour? Pearls, bien sur!