Pendants of Grand Proportions

Pendant necklaces are a jewelry must-have again this season. JCK Magazine provides examples of exquisite current pendant designs in the April 2011 issue, supplemented by Senior Editor Jennifer Heebner’s post on the 360 Style blog on April 14. In the world of fashion magazines, pendants appear in small, medium and large versions: delicate styles, a perennial favorite for the warmer months of the year; all manner of interesting medium-sized pendant designs; and, at the far end of the spectrum, eye-popping pendants of enormous proportions.

By far the trickiest to wear are the largest pendants, most of which are being pictured worn on relatively short chains or, in some cases, on rigid necklace designs. The result is the placement of a huge design element immediately below the wearer’s face. The longer the wearer’s neck, the lower the pendant will appear on the wearer’s torso relative to her face. It is impossible to get a sense of the size and effect of these pendants without seeing them on real women. Let’s take a look . . . .

“Pick up a pendant” urges the February 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, adding: “Drop a rich jeweled necklace into your wardrobe essentials for an easy upgrade.” The large pendant necklace on the model is from Oscar de la Renta; the more elaborate and more modestly sized necklace shown close-up is from Mawi.

Singer Gwen Stefani is pictured in the May 2011 issue of Elle magazine wearing a short brass-plated pendant necklace with cubic zirconia from Noir Jewelry, the chain seemingly invisible, along with a dress from her own label, L.A.M.B. Her pumps are from Christian Louboutin.

The March 2011 issue of Elle pictures an enormous pendant of smoky topaz and 18 karat gold on a delicate chain from Tom Ford, perfectly accenting the low vee neckline of a Gucci tuxedo jumpsuit.

The March 2011 issue of Elle filled in the neckline of a bow-tie blouse from Yves Saint Laurent with a vintage disk-shaped pendant necklace from House of Lavande. The hammered cuff is from David Webb and the horn bangle from F.D.

In one of the most extreme examples, this also from the March 2011 issue of Elle, a column dress from Tom Ford is accented with a gigantic leaf pendant necklace from Lanvin. The model also wears an ebony stone ring from Vhernier and a quartz ring from David Yurman.

Here’s actress Julianne Moore wearing a different version of the Lanvin brass leaf pendant necklace in the March 2011 issue of InStyle.  The chain disappears into the background of the dress with its jewel necklace, which dress is also from Lanvin.

The January 2011 issue of Marie Claire featured a Lanvin dress and rigid short necklace with an enormous insect from Lanvin, a variation on the pendant necklace.

The March 2011 issue of Vogue features a chucky pendant necklace from Proenza Schouler adorned with an owl.

The April 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar highlights a Proenza Schouler pendant necklace of abstract design.

A runway look from Proenza Schouler featuring a pendant necklace worn long and low is pictured in the April 2011 issue of InStyle.

From the April 2011 issue of Elle is this look, which places a gold-plated vintage pendant necklace with poured-glass stones from House of Lavande squarely between the two patch pockets of the Ralph Lauren Collection shirt, filling in the horizontal design. The earrings are poured glass from House of Lavande and the topless straw hat is from Marc Jacobs.

A huge vintage gold-plated pendant necklace marked “Givenchy” from House of Lavande reaches the high waist of the pants in this Escada ensemble pictured in the April 2011 issue of Elle. The shirt open low enough to display the pendant is an impractical styling; buttoning the shirt and wearing the pendant over the front placket may be a viable alternative. The model also wears a bold goldtone link necklace from Etienne Aigner and a gold-plated ring from Alexis Bittar.

Actress Diahann Carroll is pictured in the May 2011 issue of O, the Oprah Magazine wearing an ornate pendant necklace from Joyce Makitalo under a white Lauren by Ralph Lauren shirt featuring a ruffled collar and lace-up front. The necklace features not one but three elaborate pendants.

In this black-and-white photo from the April 2011 issue of Marie Claire, the model wears a top from Stella McCartney and bustier from Hermes with a huge longhorn pendant necklace from Haute Hippie that sits over the leather bustier and a silver tube necklace from Made Her Think.

Back in December 2010, Glamour magazine pictured actress Maggie Grace wearing a stone-studded heart-shaped Lanvin pendant necklace with a lightweight floral print dress from Chanel.

A recent ad from Banana Republic shows a model wearing a pair of pendant necklaces, the top one a huge disk. Notice the extremely long neck on the model.

I’d like to single out the above photo from the March 2011 issue of Elle magazine for its exceptional styling. Notice how all the disparate elements work together. A Marc Jacobs linen jacket is worn over a leather jacket with thimble embellishment from Moschino. The vibrant silk blouse and pants are Louis Vuitton; the tights are Emilio Cavallini; the cross-body bag is Michael Kors and the shoes are from Trash and Vaudeville. To that extraordinary combination of color and texture are added a pair of multi-circle motif dangling vintage earrings from House of Lavande, a brass bracelet with crystal stones from Etro, and, the finishing touch, a crystal pendant necklace studded with an enormous insect from Lanvin. The amount and level of refinement of the detail on the pendant corresponds to the thimble elements on the leather jacket, the buttons on the linen jacket, and even the slender strap on the bag. Putting large earrings so close to the pendant is a gutsy move, but one that succeeds brilliantly here because of the commonality of the metal color and the scale of the detail.  

The largest pendant necklaces are not easy to wear but, with the right look, can be spectacular. Study these examples of stylings and utilize a full-length mirror in determining the optimal size and placement of a pendant for you.

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