It’s True, Pearls Are Now Cool: How to Rock the Hottest New Jewelry Trend Using These Expert Tips

It’s just fashion kismet when two equally chic entities find each other in this crazy, chaotic world—like David and Victoria Beckham or doppelgänger BFFs Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss. Sigh. So when online destination Shopbop and jewelry designer Ariel Gordon decided to collaborate on a three-piece capsule collection, we were squealing with glee. After all, Shopbop is pretty much the culprit for draining our bank accounts with its tightly edited (but incredibly vast) cool-girl offerings, and Ariel Gordon is our go-to for classic and dainty (but with a kick) jewelry that regularly screams for compliments.

Ever since Chanel and Dior reimagined pearls with a modern kick, what was traditionally your grandma’s hand-me-down has taken on a new life. But how do you ride that fine line between making a cutting-edge statement but still sticking with a a time-honored investment piece? Let’s ask the designer, Ariel, and Shopbop’s fashion director (and total style crush) Elle Strauss.

From left to right: Ariel Gordon, The Glamourai blogger Kelly Framel, and Elle Strauss

GLAMOUR: What trends are you seeing in terms of wearing traditional pearls but in an edgy, modern, and contemporary way?
Ariel Gordon: When Elle and I started talking about doing a collaboration exclusively for the Shopbop site, she immediately said pearls. This was a really fun project for me, and I was able to do it in my minimal modern aesthetic but still keep it really dainty and delicate and wearable for every day.
Elle Strauss: And I think that’s the key as well. Pearls are traditional, so it’s all about taking the wearability, but then turning it on its head slightly. With the rings, for example—you probably have a pearl ring surrounded by diamonds. But with this one, it’s one diamond and you can layer the rings. So it’s like that subtle twist.
AG: Or like the twist on the pearl studs. Making it an ear jacket instead of a classic stud is a fun.
ES: I feel like the lariat is a modern alternative. People have an everyday basic. That’s why it makes so much sense to collaborate with Ariel because it’s that balance. Like, “This is going to just fit effortlessly into my jewelry closet, but at the same time it’s going to make that subtle statement.”

And what’s your advice in buying a pearl piece that’s edgy enough but still an investment piece? So you could hand it down to your granddaughter?
AG: My take on fine jewelry is: Instead of buying the $25 necklace here, the $75 necklace here, the $30 piece here, if you saved up your money for a couple of months, you’d have enough to buy the real thing. And because it’s fine jewelry, it’s going to last you and it’s going to be a piece that you can pass down to your kids.
ES: I think in terms of what sort of piece you choose, I would go with a ring every time.

Elle layered two of the rings that meshed seamlessly in with her wedding band and engagement bling on the same hand. Such a modern classic! Here’s a closer look at the Ariel Gordon x Shopbop collection:

From left to right: Ariel Gordon dual freshwater-pearl and diamond ring, $265,; triple over the tee lariat necklace, $495,; natural freshwater-pearl jacket stud earrings, $285,

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