Blame it on fashion’s hive mind—bumblebees are beginning to swarm the jewelry design landscape.
The adorable insect motif may have buzzed back into fashion by way of Gucci’s Spring 2016 show, where fashion-darling creative director Alessandro Michele featured bold, colorful bees prominently, on both jewelry pieces and apparel.
And Gucci’s 2017 lineup of watches features two updates on classic styles, Le Marché des Merveilles and Dive, that boast a gold embroidered bee on the bezels.
Gucci Le Marché des Merveilles bee watch
Jewelry brands are tangling with the bee, too. David Yurman, Alex and Ani, Coup, and Sydney Evan, among others, have all used bumblebees in recent designs.
Of course, the bee is an enduring motif in jewelry. It was wildly popular in mid-century jewelry design and has zipped in and out of fashion ever since. Visionary designer Jean Schlumberger’s Bee pendant for Tiffany & Co., to cite one example from the era, elevated the winged insect to a precious jewel. It’s still available at Tiffany stores today.
Jean Schlumberger’s Bee pendant for Tiffany & Co.
Less lofty—but perhaps no less influential—was Joan Rivers’ long love affair with bees. The insect was the centerpiece of her immensely popular costume jewelry line, sold exclusively on QVC. At her 2014 funeral, attendees wore bee pins from the late comedienne’s collection.
“In aerodynamic terms, bees shouldn’t be able to fly. Their bodies are too heavy; their wings are too small,” Rivers once wrote on QVC.com. “Yet they do fly! I believe we all have it in us to beat the odds and achieve the impossible.”
Below, a few uplifting new bee designs we’re loving.
Bee Army pearl, gold-plated bracelet, $310; Coup
Cybele pearl, gold-plated earrings, $200; Coup
Petrvs bee amulet, $250; David Yurman
Yellow gold bumblebee and ladybug stud earrings, $805; Sydney Evan
Beehive necklace, $68, and Bumblebee cuff, $46; Bauble Bar
(Top: Be earrings, $180; Coup)