Making a statement with chandelier earrings
In ancient times, earrings were worn to display a person’s caste or status, while some religious initiation ceremonies involved piercing the earlobe and wearing a particular kind of earring which would depict the wearer’s affiliation. In more modern times however, one does not require a reason or religion to wear earrings; they are worn by both genders and both sport multiple piercings in their earlobes and cartilage. Chandelier earrings are one of many styles of earring which have retained their charm through the years, and are worn by women of all ages. They come in versatile styles and suit both ethnic as well as western wear.
The word “Chandelier” has French origins, and is taken from the French word, “candelabre”, which means “branched candlestick”. It was only in the 17th century that the word “Chandelier” was used to describe the bejewelled, multi-tiered earrings worn by fashionable women in Royal Courts.
An interesting fact pertaining to Chandelier earrings and the Great Depression of the 1930’s, is that shopping catalogs such as Sears, put out more advertisements for earrings than clothes during the period, as it was felt that women who were going through a financial crisis would at least feel inclined to buy a pair of earrings to cheer themselves up!
In the 1970’s, with the coming of the Hippie era of psychedelic music, bright, colorful clothing and a general love for ostentatious fashion, the Chandelier earring made a comeback along with peace pendants, and other motifs.
It was not until the mid-80’s when hoop earrings began coming into fashion, that Chandelier earring designs began reverting to their original, heavily-embellished styles with designers such as Oscar De La Renta preferring them over the minimalistic hoop earrings for his shows. Chandelier earrings were therefore reinstated as part of popular fashion.
Chandelier earrings are most commonly seen at film awards ceremonies where intricate, diamond-encrusted pieces are worn by actresses and models, paired perfectly with flowing gowns and corsets. Brands like Harry Winston, Tiffany and Co., and Chopard invest millions into creating these unique pieces, and loan them to the actresses for the purpose of showcasing them at premiere events. Most recently, Chandelier earrings have been worn by actress Drew Barrymore and US First Lady Michelle Obama, who wore hers to the Inaugural Ball. Mrs. Obama incidentally, is a big fan of Chandelier earrings and wears them often with her well-tailored dresses.
It is generally easy to pair Chandelier earrings with an outfit; ideally there should be a balance between the amount of detailing on the outfit in comparison with the amount of detailing in the earrings. Too much detail in context with both outfit and earrings would be considered overkill, and it is always better to highlight either one. Since the Chandelier earrings are usually intricately-embellished, offsetting them with a neutral colored dress or kurta would serve to highlight its beauty.
Chandelier earrings remain popular as part of a set of intricate jewellery, and also as separate signature pieces which add that extra dash of glamour to an outfit. Since their comeback three decades ago, they remain a fashion staple for every wardrobe.