As someone who spends her life immersed in all things jewellery, I’m often asked what my essential item is. My response never wavers. Come rain or shine, day or night, hell or high water, a fabulous pair of hoop earrings wins every time.
Hoops always look good, with their elegant contours and swooping arcs that are simultaneously feminine and confident, and, given that they have a history dating back to the Sumerians in 2600 BC, they possess a timeless quality – intrinsic to any truly great piece of fine jewellery.
The current appeal of this classic design is seeing “designers being more and more creative with their earrings, and customers finding new and innovative ways to wear them,” says Patti Green, buyer at Matchesfashion.com, which launched a Fair Trade yellow gold hoop earring capsule collection featuring contemporary designs by fine jewellers Anissa Kermiche, Jacquie Aiche and Aurélie Bidermann earlier this year. Across the board, cutting-edge jewellers are championing the hoop, adapting the style to their individual design handwriting.
Putting a fresh spin on the classic circular silhouette, Suzanne Kalan bisects her 18ct rose-gold Baguette Charm hoops ($9,600) with a horizontal bar from which hang signature dainty, white baguette-diamond clusters. Available in yellow and white gold, all Kalan’s designs are handmade in LA.
Ileana Makri’s Double Orbit earrings (€3,200) manipulate the hoop into concentric 18ct yellow gold wire circles suspended from the stud with three square-cut emeralds. Inspired by African textile prints, Makri says her “fresh, playful and feminine” design will appeal to women looking for “striking, glamorous hoops that add casual elegance”.
For those keen to inject a dash of colour and drama, look to the resurgence of the gem-encrusted statement hoop. Inspired by birds of paradise, Hueb’s Mirage earrings ($10,820) dazzle with a full covering of diamonds and pink sapphires set in 18ct rose gold and cut and arranged to resemble “colourful and vibrant plumage”.
The hypnotic Rainbow Spiral Moon earrings (£3,840), designed by Noor Fares, use 18ct grey gold against which a ravishing array of gemstones – including rock crystal quartz, amethyst, and blue, grey, pink and yellow sapphires – pop with saturated colour. “The continuous form of the piece resembles the Fibonacci sequence in its fluidity,” says Fares.
Working a similar palette to entirely different effect, De Grisogono’s Melody of Colours hoops (£76,400) feature black rhodium-plated rose gold set with a textural layer of pavé amethysts, blue, yellow, pink and orange sapphires and tsavorites.
Lastly, Yvonne Léon’s witty Escargot earring (€1,750) – sold individually and with turquoise beads arranged to resemble the fluid movement of a snail – taps into the vogue for wearing solo or mismatched earrings. When it comes to jewellery, I’m a classic-with-a-twist kind of woman, truth be told. But with summer fast approaching, the urge to try something new has its appeal. These could be the inspiration I need to embark on a whole new hoop adventure.
Maia Adams is a jewellery consultant and co-founder of Adorn Insight (adorninsight.com).