Versatile, luminous, classic—pearls have been the unofficial gem of Hollywood stars since Clara Bow sported strings of them in silent films. Case in point: Marilyn Monroe is said to have cherished the sixteen-inch string of cultured pearls Joe DiMaggio gave her during their honeymoon in Japan above all other jewellery. A single-strand pearl choker was Princess Grace Kelly’s signature accessory, and one of history’s most celebrated pearls, the giant La Peregrina, was worn by a succession of royals before becoming Richard Burton’s Valentine’s Day gift to Elizabeth Taylor in 1969 (she once had to rescue it from becoming her puppy’s chew-toy). And it seems the gem is being worn in increasingly innovative ways—as evidenced in 2015, when actress Lupita Nyong’o walked the Oscars red carpet in a custom Calvin Klein gown dripping with over 6,000 of serenely glamorous natural pearls. As this year’s awards approach and the style set bubbles with anticipation over who will wear what, we wonder if the sea-borne jewel will once again make a splash—and covet a coral-inspired pair of Mikimoto dazzlers ourselves.
February 25, 2016