Fringe Benefits & Tassels Too

The shimmy of fringe and sway of tassels contribute a sensuousness this season that counterbalances such stylistic viewpoints as stark minimalism and bold color block designs.  These designs are attention-getting, not for the faint of heart. In perhaps the most extreme example of the use of fringe, designer Roberto Cavalli produced an entire look – dress, bra, bag, necklace, metal bracelets and suede bracelets – all embellished lavishly with fringe, as seen in this photo from the January 2011 issue of Marie Claire magazine:

The image section of the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, April 24, 2011, highlights this trend in an article by Janet Kinosian, which attributes the trend to a conflux of influences: “Today’s tasseled-themed jewelry is a bit Art Deco, a bit hippie ‘70s revival, a bit ancient Egypt and a touch old-world Venetian, all threaded together with a 21st-century sensibility.” Kinosian quotes London-based jeweler Carolina Bucci: “Tassels are very feminine and also very tactile. They help jewelry achieve its potential, which is to turn metal or material into something fluid and feminine, something that draws attention to a body part as we move.”

The LA Times article pictures a convertible gold-plated tassel-adorned necklace with turquoise glass from Theodora & Callum; a woven silk and 18 karat gold bracelet from Carolina Bucci; earrings of golden-plated brass with pyrite and sodalite from Sachin + Babi; a triple gold-plated bracelet from Philippe Audibert; a heavy silver-plated bangle with chain-tasseled fringe from Fortune Favors the Brave; and 24-karat gold-plated earrings of geometric shapes with dangling triangular tassels from A Peace Treaty.

“Flapper fashion roars back onto the scene,” proclaims the April 2011 issue of Marie Claire, seeing the Art Deco designs of the 1920s and ‘30s as a point of reference for a pair of earrings from Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry that feature onyx ovals and tassels of pearls.

The April 2011 issue of Lucky finds inspiration for a disco night party in tassel earrings from, noting that “Shoulder-dusting tassel earrings are pure drama.”

The vintage earrings in starbursts of fringe from House of Lavande worn by singer Florence Welch in the May 2011 issue of Elle magazine are also indeed pure drama. Her bodysuit is from Louis Vuitton and bra from Araks.

This season, Chanel features ombre-shaded shoulder-duster fringe earrings in a current ad campaign that includes this image that appears in the March 2011 issue of Vogue.

Extending even beyond the shoulders are the long fringe earrings of brass or silver by Iosselliani shown with a silk gown from Etro, a tassel-adorned leather clutch from Gucci, a gold bracelet from Hermes and gold rings from Vhernier in this photo from the March 2011 issue of Elle.

The March 2011 issue of InStyle has another description for tassels, stating: “They’re showing up everywhere with a brazen showgirl charm.” The footwear pictured is from Louis Vuitton.

Render tassels in pearls, however, and the effect is anything but showgirl, as seen in this current ad showing Ivanka Trump modeling one of her elegant tassel earring designs from her fine jewelry collection.

Tassel earrings in an elegant vintage design (that may be uncredited Givenchy) from House of Lavande adorn an ensemble from Celine in the March 2011 issue of Elle. The earrings have enough presence to balance the bright graphics of the shirt. The model also wears a malachite and diamond ring from Beladora and a gold and diamond ring from Vhernier.

A swimsuit story in the May 2011 issue of Lucky features suede “Pocahontas” earrings from Shashi.

A bead, brass and glass necklace from Stella & Dot is featured in the February 2011 issue of InStyle.

 “Suddenly everywhere tassels” announces the May 2011 issue of Lucky magazine: “These boho-luxe embellishments were all over the runways, draped around waists and necks. You can pick them up at craft stores for cheap—or jack them from your own curtains.” It can be fun to imitate a designer look at minimal cost, a clear testament to the broad appeal of this trend. But nothing can compare to the pure sensuousness of fringe or tassels finely rendered in precious materials.

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