Rewind to the Summer of 2013.
There yet? Good.
For this was the season when those charmingly wicked Rodarte girls sent ear cuffs down their Game of Thrones inspired runway. Although they claimed at the time not to have seen the series, they did acknowledge that the collection was about “Medieval and fantasy role-playing games.”
A rose – or inspiration – by any other name…
image source: condenast.co.uk
Seeing Karlie, Lindsay and Jourdan decked out in ear cuffs helped spark a hot trend which still shows no sign of abating. And for good reasons: ear cuffs are eye-catching, easy to wear and decidedly different than those normal go-to hoops. Not that that we’d ever consider giving up our go-to-hoops (perish the thought!), but we do like to up our accessory game with the spice of one’s fashion life: variety.
image source: sophiescloset.com
Ear cuffs, while new again, are actually quite old. They are thought to date back at least to 2000 BC, and were later popular with the fashionistas of ancient Greece who showed off their social status with ornate gold cuffs featuring designs of mythical animals.
image source: wikipedia
Indian art of royalty is chock full of this trend. Check out Empress of the Mughal Empire, Nur Jahan’s portrait showing her in an elaborate, pearl-encrusted ear cuff festooned with a Skittles-worthy array of colorful gemstones.
image source: sophiescloset.com
When ear cuffs finally made their way to Europe, art from the late 16th century shows them being worn much like regular earrings. In Lavinia Fontana’s Isabella Ruini as Venus (1592), a delicate spray of smaller pearls creeps over the top of the ear with a matching, teardrop-shaped pearl earring. It is only upon closer inspection that you realize it’s actually a cuff.
image source: revisitaohlala.com
In the US, print ads from the early part of the 20th century show diamond-encrusted ear cuffs worn with a coordinating collar necklace and cuff bracelet as a set, or parure. Even Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy fame wore ear cuffs frequently during the height of her TV’s show’s run throughout most of the 50s. However, it probably wasn’t until the late 70s and early 80s that ear cuffs acquired their more edgy reputation, thanks to the scenic fringe, particularly punk culture. Although aggressive, punk was on-point when it came to borrowing from other genres including the distinctive mohawk ‘do sported by the Pawnee Indians and the timeless leather Perfecto jackets beloved by the biker culture. And cool jewels.
image source: adornlondon.com
And to mark the new millennium, Alexander McQueen channeled Elizabethan finery, pirates, drowned maidens and the rainforest – as only McQueen could – and styled one standout look on his Spring 2003 catwalk with a particularly striking circular feather ear cuff. It managed to be simultaneously forward-looking and timelessly tribal, edgily downtown but craveable by uptown fashionistas – a razor’s-edge tightrope that few designers are talented enough to negotiate with such panache.
ISHARYA Ear Cuff Style
image source: ISHARYA Studio
Panache, however, is one of the reasons we love fashion. And our ear cuffs. As to how to wear them? For a more casual feel, we suggest leaving your tresses tousled and beachy, allowing a glint and shimmer of ear cuff to peek out every so often.
When it’s time to turn up the glam, slick your hair back and let your ear cuff do the talking. We usually add a stack of our slim cuffs on one wrist and a delicate ring on the other hand.
And you? How do you cuff? Be sure to let us know with #isharya.