Versed in Verticals: Shoulder-Duster Earrings

Very long earrings, so-called shoulder-dusters, are once again making an appearance this season.  I previously highlighted some of the long dangling drop versions in my blog post of September 6. Another style that has caught the eye of fashionistas is a style of multiple long strands that fall together in a waterfall design.


A long neck is practically a pre-requisite in order to carry off a pair of earrings this dramatic. In considering how to style a look around a pair of shoulder-dusting waterfall earrings, the first thing that is likely to come to mind is that long hair serves as an ideal backdrop for the earrings. An updo or short cropped hairdo can also be very attractive with this style of earrings. Medium length hair is often not an ideal choice, as the hairstyle may interfere with the line of the earrings, and the effect may be somewhat sloppy if the earrings hang down under the bottom edge of the hairstyle.



What is particularly striking about the editorial stylings this season is the use of waterfall earrings to emphasize the lines of garments that have a strong vertical emphasis. For instance, in the photo above, from the September 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, the model sports very long hair and wears a dress of tiny pleats along with a fur jacket by Roberto Cavalli. Notice how beautifully the earrings with their multiple strands play off the narrow pleats of the dress as well as the strands of the model’s hair.



The Cavalli ensemble is an excellent example of the new long skirts that are back in vogue this season. Consider how shoulder-duster earrings would complement these skirts shown in the November 2010 issue of Elle magazine, emphasizing the vertical lines. The skirts pictured are from Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch and A.L.C.



A current ad for Sorel footwear takes a similar approach, accessorizing an ensemble with a short pleated skirt with a pair of multi-strand shoulder-dusters that repeat the vertical lines of the skirt. Of course, the focus of the photo is on the model’s Sorel boots, hence the short skirt, and the styling, as well-conceived as it is, is meant to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek.



The designer Roberto Cavalli celebrates the design house’s 40th Anniversary with this ad that ran in the September 2010 issue of Vogue, which utilizes a pair of shoulder-dusters to accent the very tall, lean look of a pants ensemble. Either the model is extremely long-waisted, or the photo has been significantly Photoshopped, but in either case, the vertical lines are further emphasized with the earrings.



An alternate styling that is also intriguing is using the long vertical lines of shoulder-duster earrings as counterpoint to a dress of a noticeably horizontal weave, as seen in this dress by Salvatore Ferragamo worn with earrings by Diana Broussard pictured in the October 2010 issue of Marie Claire. The ensemble is also styled with two long pendant necklaces worn one on top of the other from Aurelie Bidermann and Bulgari.