Fashion tends to be cyclical, and 2022 is unabashedly embracing the concept. One of the year’s top trends is nostalgia. Nowhere is the maxim ‘What’s old is new’ truer than in the case of pearls. If you’re thinking, ‘Plain old pearls, how dull’; think again. Fashion is never an exact replica of the past. While there is nothing wrong with wearing your granny’s necklace, this trend goes far beyond a basic princess strand. Today’s fashion is not about owning a single ‘It’ item such as an iconic Chanel quilted handbag or a pair of Ray-Bans. Instead, the emphasis is on one’s individual expression of the trend, and this year, pearls top the list. Fashionistas are taking this classic gem to places it has never been before. Read on to learn more about the scorching hot trend of pearlcore.
To be fair, pearls never really go out of style. Classics like pearl bracelets, pearl strands and pearl earrings are always spotted around the office and at weddings. But this year, pearls have taken on a life of their own, and not just on necks, wrists, and earlobes. Expect to see them from crown to toe, and everywhere in between.
Pearls have always symbolised wealth, power, and exoticism. The only gem to be created by a living being, ‘the Queen of Gems’ was once reserved for royalty. Pearl mania first caught on in the 1920 when fashion icon Coco Chanel popularised luxurious ropes of faux pearls. While the process of culturing was invented about a hundred years ago, pearls only really became accessible to the middle class in the 1950s, a time when they became de rigueur (and no doubt the reason why we still associate them with the Queen). Madonna rocked oversize faux pearls in the eighties, but they have since gone underground as a staid item your mother or grandmother might wear to a social tea. This is no longer the case and pearls are once again taking centre stage.
Today’s love of pearls is all about bringing back the sophistication and glamour of old Hollywood, but in a modern aesthetic. People are treating their wardrobe like a Pinterest board, complete with ‘moods’.
Pearls are popping up on apparel, handbags, shoes, sunglasses, nail art; you name it, it is being pearlized. Never mind a dainty sprinkling of seed pearls around the neckline; entire gowns are being constructed from pearls. Pearl studs or a classic necklace are perfect for everyday wear, but this year’s rule is: the bigger the event, the bigger the pearl.
Today’s pearlcore adherents are sporting them with everything from ballgowns to cargo shorts. Pearls take on a sassy edge when paired with leather or jeans. Even men are getting in on the trend, including big names like Harry Styles, Pharrell, and Sean Mendes.
To truly embrace pearlcore, the pearl should be the centrepiece of the ensemble. For example, if you go with a pearl-embroidered top, pair it with mother-of-pearl sunglasses rather than diamond-studded cat’s eyes. Because of pearl’s delicacy, you don’t want other pieces to compete or detract.
Iridescence is yet another top trend this year, further fuelling pearls’ popularity. Besides items like pearl purses, body chains, ear cuffs and apparel, pearls are a top choice for home decor, from vases to countertops to paint. People are even throwing pearl-themed parties.
Pearlcore is also blended with other trends, including cottagecore, fairycore, and light academia. Because pearls are highly versatile, they work well with just about anything, making them easy to mix and match with other faves. Pearls can be worn with gold, silver, rhinestones, and charms. There is no rule against embellishing your simple pearl strand with a pendant. In fact, it is encouraged as it allows you to express your unique, individual style, not to mention that it makes a great conversation starter. Nostalgia, playfulness, and youth are the name of the game in 2022.
The most important component of the pearlcore trend is to make it your own. Think DIY and you can’t go wrong.