Forget stuffy heirlooms – pearls have been given a contemporary makeover

Words Joy Montgomery

The phrase ‘pearl-clutching’ isn’t exactly synonymous with cutting-edge fashion types – quite the opposite in fact. Less punk, more prudish, cardigan-clad aunts. However, after many years of being confined to antique fairs and ageing jewellery boxes, pearls have been given a modern makeover courtesy of some of the coolest names in the business…

Modern pearls are all about off-beat compositions and minimalist settings. Think neat rows on punkish ear cuffs and small drops scattered over gold hoops. Nothing about these pieces is conventional. Just think of pearls as your new costume jewellery. Statement-making and unapologetic, come autumn these pieces will add an avant-garde edge to traditional cashmere. No other accessories need apply.

Peruse our shopping gallery to discover our edit of the best pearl pieces

Aurélie Bidermann

Cheyne Walk Pearl and Gold-Plated Earrings, £265;

Yvonne Leon

18-karat gold pearl earring, £650;


Vintage Pearl Bracelet, £55;

Anissa Kermiche

14-karat gold pearl earring, £1,265;

Gold Philosophy

Delphine Collar, £256;

Delfina Delettrez

18-karat gold pearl earring, £490;

Theo Fennell

Freshwater Pearl and Diamond Bee Drop Earrings, £3,800;


Gold-tone faux pearl necklace, £750;


14-Karat Gold Pearl Cuff, £2,285;


Diamonds and Pearls Ring, £2,800;

Sammie Jo Coxon

Calendis Half Hoops, £1,210 – £2,420;

Laurence Coste

Augusta Earrings, Gold and Pearl, £325;