The Chicest Jewelry To Wear With Summer Black
Unsure how to accessorize an all-black outfit? SARAH ROYCE-GREENSILL speaks to the cool and contemporary fine-jewelry designers crafting just the thing for SS23
Black is the unsung hero of summer dressing: timeless, chic and endlessly versatile, it’s a warm-weather staple for stylists, editors and tastemakers alike. Whether you’re dressing for a hot day in the city or enjoying a coastal escape, head-to-toe black feels cool and considered. Allowing sleek silhouettes, tactile textures and elevated craftsmanship to shine, an all-black outfit also serves as the perfect blank canvas to let precious metals and gemstones sing. So, here are three fail-safe ways to accent your all-black look this season.
“Black and gold is as sophisticated as it is sexy,” says Jesse Marlo Lazowski, founder of Marlo Laz, whose intricately engraved gold necklaces stand out against an inky backdrop. “When I think of summer, my mind immediately goes to a Slim Aarons photograph of Marisa Berenson in Capri: she’s wearing a black bikini, a barely-there gold belly chain and stacks of gold rings. Perfection.”
What’s more, a simple black dress with yellow-gold jewelry works just as well at the beach as it does in the city, and a minimalist outfit can carry supersized jewels. Try Marina B’s hefty ‘Trisola’ bangle, or Maor’s chunky 18-karat-gold ‘Curb Chain’ ring. Meanwhile, Foundrae’s gold medallions are a summer go-to for good reason: whether worn alone or layered, they’ll ensure your outfit shines.
“The warm glow of yellow gold illuminates dark tones, creating a luxurious contrast; it’s refined but understated,” says Almasika founder Catherine Sarr, who layers her geometric designs for day and night. “A black outfit and gold jewelry can take you anywhere,” Lazowski adds. “It’s a sure-fire way to ensure you always look polished.”
Silver and white gold
If black with yellow gold is all about warmth and polish, black with white gold is the grungy, rebellious alternative – and it’s gaining ground right now thanks to fashion’s penchant for the ’90s. “A black backdrop heightens the impact of white-gold jewelry,” says Eéra co-founder Chiara Capitani. “The contrast brings out a piece’s silhouette, drawing the eye to its curves and angles.” From Eéra’s carabiner-inspired ‘Chiara’ earring to Repossi’s ‘Serti Sur Vide’ ear cuff and Shay’s diamond-encrusted ‘Deco Link’ bracelet, white gold carries a utilitarian sensibility that works especially well with off-duty black.
Indeed, as contemporary fine jewelry has been dominated by yellow gold for years, switching to white instantly freshens up an all-black look. However, if you need a bridging piece, look to Spinelli Kilcollin. A label that has long combined different gold tones, its set of four white-metal rings connected by yellow-gold links feels especially right for now.
But that’s not to say white gold can’t give good glamour: Delfina Delettrez’s looping trails of white gold and diamonds are the effortless route to black-tie elegance, while Mizuki’s diamond-studded tennis necklace is accented with South Sea pearls to complement the piece’s silvery sheen.
“Colorful jewelry layered onto black creates the cool, fun vibe that you want in summer,” says designer Marie Lichtenberg, whose go-to outfit is a black Vita Kin maxi dress, lace-up sandals, and one of her cult-favorite enamel lockets. “Jewelry is a little piece of your inner self and colorful accessories shine through the darkness.”
Take turquoise, for example – not only does it complement sun-kissed skin, but the protective stone is also often found at the center of talismanic amulets throughout the Middle East, making it inherently linked to sunny climes. Look to chunky turquoise pendants from Sherman Field or Mason and Books for all the ornamentation an all-black outfit needs. Meanwhile, vibrant emeralds also look ideal against black. “Their deep green luster adds an interesting element of color,” says Gargi Rathi, founder of emerald-focused brand House of Meraki, whose ‘Vania’ charm bracelet combines different cuts of Zambian emeralds and diamonds.
Colorful beads are a no-brainer for instant holiday vibes, too – especially if the rest of your outfit is monochrome. Stack Sydney Evan’s beaded bracelets or sling on Harwell Godfrey’s rainbow-bead ‘Foundation’ necklace for pure joy. Single-toned necklaces also offer an after-dark take on the trend: Azlee sets its signature gold ‘Staircase’ motif at the center of ruby, sapphire or emerald beads, while 42 Suns uses laboratory-grown gemstones to achieve even saturation throughout its modern rivières.
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