Ancient jewelry is going mod.
Hammered metals — all manner of gold, silver, and rose gold — are the textured extras adding interest to a seemingly endless array of must-have minimalist sportswear.
The Aztecs and the Greeks were among the first civilizations with artisans who took to painstakingly hammering designs into jewelry — think cuffs and necklaces — for very important people. (That would be royalty.)
The 1930s were a time when A-line silhouettes were the foundation of glamour, and a hammered cuff brought a straight Madeleine Vionnet gown to life. From that decade on, hammered metals brought an edginess to statement jewelry that brushed metals lacked. Dangling earrings, pendants on long necklaces, and, of course, cuff bracelets with hammered finishes served as go-to pieces for artsy fashionistas during the 1990s. But when the bling period rolled through, they all but disappeared.
The millennial rise in artisan pieces, propelled by Etsy, has helped local artisans who fashion jewelry from beads, handmade leathers, crystals, and, these days, hammered metals. Why are they so popular? The answer is simple: No two pieces are the same.
With anything, really. But I think they look best paired with black. Try a jumpsuit or a romper. Feeling adventurous? Pair with small print. If you're going the choker route, consider a V-neckline. Just be careful — you don't want to channel your inner Game of Thrones bad girl, Cersei Lannister.
It all depends on where you're shopping. If you pick up a pair of hammered hoop earrings from New York & Co., you won't spend more than, say, $20. But if you go the boutique route, like this choker and bracelet set from M. Concept Shop, you will pay more. But you'll be supporting American craftsmanship. And that's a good thing, right?
The chokers are $128 and the bracelets are $48. They are RG Exclusive, an M. Concept Shop private label.