Odd Couples & Other Unexpected Jewelry Mixes

Do opposites attract? Likely it is the commonalities that allow two very different individuals to succeed as a couple. So too, the fashion editors have been producing some unusual combinations of items that may at first glance seem to have little in common. In most cases, upon closer scrutiny, there are similarities that make the pairing or collection stronger in stylistic effect than its individual parts. Here are some of the latest examples:

InStyle Makeover for fall 2010 shows actress Piper Perabo wearing a pair of contrasting silver-plated and crystal bracelets by Rodrigo Otazu with a blazer and leggings ensemble. She also wears a Bliss Lau necklace, Rodrigo Otazu pendant necklace, and rings from Pamela Love and Tina Thor.

The September 2010 issue of Marie Claire uses a mix of highly dimensional pieces, a bracelet and two necklaces, from Subversive Jewelry by Justin Giunta plus a Baroque pearl ring from Tasaki by Thakoon to adorn an ensemble with highly textured dress and a sleeveless trench coat.

The August 2010 issue of Vogue combines three elegant pieces of jewelry –  a Cartridge alligator strap watch with a Cartier Panthere bracelet and an 18K gold bangle by Pomellato – to accent a classic pantsuit and bow blouse.

Two oversized mismatched bracelets are the only adornment for a silk dress in this photo from the September 2010 issue of Lucky. The bracelets consist of a studded silvertone bracelet by M. Haskell and a “brass-plated silver bangle” by A.V. Max.

From the September 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar comes this two-page ad from Vince Camuto showing the model wearing what appears to be leather and silvertone bracelets.

Here’s a larger grouping of mixed “heavy metal” bracelets silver in color (uncredited) shown in the “Keep” category in the September 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

 Necklaces too have been pictured in unexpected combinations. Thus, in a feature entitled “Call of the Wild” that creates a “sexy Sioux spirit” with shearlings and fur, the August 2010 issue of Marie Claire combines a spike necklace by Candace Ang with a “rectangle necklace” by Nine West.

The September 2010 issue of Marie Claire puts together a safety pin necklace and a crystal-encrusted bow necklace, both by Marc Jacobs, with a thin chain necklace by Annette Ferdinandsen to adorn a textured jacket and sparkly sweater.  

From designer Marni is a pair of necklaces with what is described as “fanciful gems” pictured in the August 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

Finally, here’s a photo from backstage at the Michael Kors show, with the model wearing a pair of mismatched choker necklaces, published in the September 2010 issue of Marie Claire.

What can be discerned from the pairings and other mixes of jewelry?

  • The best pairings occur when each piece is strong enough to stand on its own. In most of the examples, neither or none of the jewelry dominates other jewelry of the same type.

  • The mixes of jewelry create textural interest, and, where appropriate, emphasize that the focus of the overall ensemble is on a mix of textures.

  • Usually there is little other jewelry being worn or, if it is, it does not attempt to draw attention away from the interesting mix of bracelets or necklaces.  

Utilizing a mix of pieces from the same designer is the easiest way to achieve these interesting looks, but is certainly not the only way. Have some fun and mix it up, and see where serendipity leads you. That odd couple might just be the perfect match.