THE ART OF NECKLACE LAYERING BY LIZA URLA
Remember how popular it was last season to wear stacks of bracelets? Well, I’m happy to tell you the same trend is now happening with necklaces. Necklace layering is something of an art form and a creative way to express yourself, especially on those days when you just can’t decide which necklace to wear.
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Mastering the art of necklace layering is much the same as putting together a stellar outfit – maybe you start with the shoes and work your way up, maybe you start with a hat or a skirt and add layers and elements from there. It’s the same concept with layering necklaces. It takes some trial and error to master, but it’s loads of fun experimenting with different looks, and getting inspired by the pendants, lockets and pearl necklaces in your jewellery box.
To show you how it’s done, I called upon my friend, Meira T – “a vivacious woman who lives to create!” I just love collaborating with Meira T and her beautiful jewellery. It’s so modern, feminine and wearable. Her imagination is endless and with so many charming creations to choose from, I had quite the time deciding, but what fun it was!
Here are my top favourite compositions, together with my top ten styling tips for mastering the art of necklace layering.
1. Try it out before you try it on
The best way to try out different looks is to place the necklaces on a table or flat surface. Then you can play around with the order, until you create the look you’re after.
2. Choose no less than 3 and no more than 5 necklaces
There’s something about collections of 3’s and 5’s that is so pleasing to the eye. You see it in design elements all the time. It creates a very balanced and symmetrical effect. So start by choosing 3 necklaces – short, medium and long – and try them out for size. Each necklace should sit a few finger-widths apart, so it stands out and is free to move against the skin without getting tangled.
3. The first necklace defines the look
I like to start with the smallest necklace, preferably a choker, and will choose something delicate to accentuate that sexy dip in the neck. As you layer the necklaces, go for a graduated effect to offset each piece and captivate the eye. With each layer, increase the size of the necklace until the very last pièce-de-résistance.
4. Choose your palette: colour, texture, shape and length
A complementary mix of colours will add allure to your necklace layers, not to mention sparkle. Choose different textures too to create another level of interest, and play with various shapes and lengths. Geometric pendants or some snazzy charms will create depth and perspective. Meira T’s beautiful necklaces are ideal for this kind of fashion statement.
5. Keep a common thread
Some people like to mix metals and colours of gold, but I find sticking to just one helps pull the composition together. White gold is beautiful, and you can’t beat silver, but my ultimate choice is rose gold for the way it complements the skin. This is just another area where you get to make your own choices and create something very personal.
6. If it’s not the right length, don’t despair!
Necklace extenders are wonderful things to keep in your jewellery box. Adding length to any necklace opens up a whole new level of layering and the number of compositions you can create. Just ask Meira T!
7. Make a statement!
Every layered look needs a showpiece to bring the look together. At the centre of your composition, you want to create a statement with a magnificent gemstone or pendant. Have fun with this and give it some thought. I promise you, people will notice.
8. Pearls for beauty, symmetry, shape, and a touch of nostalgia
As a tribute to the one-and-only Chanel who started the whole trend of layering necklaces with her splendid strands of pearls – don’t forget your pearls!
9. Check your jewellery box before you go shopping
Instead of investing in a bunch of necklaces all at once, treat yourself to just one new necklace that complements your existing jewellery collection. Choose something fresh and modern that will spruce up your old necklaces, and give new meaning to your sense of style!
10. Chain, chain, chain!
Go for a minimalist look by layering with a collection of simple but elegant chains – no pendants needed! I simply adore chains. These days, it’s not unusual for jewellery designers to use standard chains instead of designing their own. My favourites come from Italy.
GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.
*Photographed by Flit Photography. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla
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