With Labor Day just around the corner and crisp, russet autumn in site, the natural question arises: what’s the “it” bauble of the autumn/winter 2016 collections? The cocktail ring, my dear. From runways in New York, Paris and Milan, and from fashion houses as far-reaching as Oscar de la Renta and Gucci, the cocktail ring is popping-up like dandelions. And would you know it, but the choice gem of these collections is pearl.
Like all grand dames of society, the cocktail ring has a fabled past. It begins in the dark and sultry underground speakeasy scene of the Roaring Twenties. Thanks in no small part to that blunder called Prohibition (to think! keeping us from Champagne…), ladies and gentlemen were forced to imbibe at illicitly organized “cocktail parties.” It was a period of great contradictions, when strict national morality confronted the reality of a seething flapper movement. Women were working, voting, drinking…and looking fabulous.
The cocktail ring slipped easily into this motif. After all, when one lifts a forbidden Gin Rickey or Sidecar to one’s lips, one is given an excellent opportunity to dazzle one’s neighbors. An oversized, attention-grabbing ring fit the bill perfectly. What’s more, the cocktail ring became a statement of autonomy – so clearly was it not purchased by a man. As the independent and rebellious flapper grew out of her fringe and tassel, she did not leave behind her rings. The bauble became an accepted part of women’s fashion, being equally at ease whether hosting a dinner party for partners of the firm, or attending an evening of opera at the Kennedy Center.
Today, the cocktail ring is a go-to accessory with greater popularity and variety than ever. Pearls and precious stones glitter just as playfully when paired with cardigans and boyfriend jeans at the supermarket as they do when accessorizing that perfect party frock. “Independent women” rejoice: the cocktail ring is the ultimate accessory of excess. So raise your glass to the ultimate statement piece of the season. Simply drop us a note and let the fine pearl jewelers at Spey craft a pearl cocktail ring of singular style for you.
Pictured: Detail of the Oscar de la Renta Fall 2016 collection.