While your Who What Wear editors didn't actually experience the flamboyant festiveness of the disco era ourselves, we have a huge crush on it nevertheless. Admittedly, our adoration might be a little naïve, but between the many films that glorify that period and the stories we've heard about Studio 54-induced wildness, can you really blame us for falling for such a hedonistic and happy time? Not so much. Hopefully this explains why we're thrilled that so many designers are referencing disco's more glamorous moments this season, complete with slinky jumpsuits, killer platform heels, and dance-floor-ready earrings. Speaking of the latter, we think a pair of shoulder-grazing chain earrings might offer one of the easiest and most modern ways to incorporate a touch of late '70s style into your current closet, which is why we're spotlighting them in today's D.I.Y.!
As far as inspiration goes, we noticed a truly amazing pair at the Chanel S/S 11 show and immediately wanted them for ourselves. The long, lean, metal chain Gold/Black Snake Earrings ($1760, 212.334.0055, available in late February) accented an array of ensembles, ranging from lavish, feather-trimmed cocktail frocks to prim, monochromatic day looks. From their lithe silhouette to their dramatic ombre coloring, these earrings have a luxuriously edgy look we love. Plus, we can certainly imagine the era's best-dressed women-like Bianca Jagger and Margaux Hemingway-wearing this exact pair for a night on the town, making them all the more obsession-worthy in our opinion.
Since we have more time than money on our hands right now, we wondered if it would be possible to recreate these insanely gorgeous runway earrings ourselves. Not knowing where to start, we rang our Do-It-Yourself guru-the one and only Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This-and asked for a little help. Happily for us all, Domesek explained the project in seconds flat and made our disco dreams come true with her easy-to-follow instructions. You'll find all the necessary details below, so break out the tools, it's time to get crafty!
-28 6-inch chains
-28 small (3mm) jump rings
-4 large (4mm) jump rings
-2 Earrings Posts
-2 Ribbon Clamps
-Gorilla Super Glue ($6)
-Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint ($5) in Black
If you are particularly crafty and want to make your own earrings, please start with Step 1. If you're a little lazy or uninterested in this part of the project, you can simply buy similar earrings-like Gorjana's Vintage Chain Tassel Earrings ($48)-and paint them. If you decide to do the latter, please start with Step 8.
- Divide chains and jump rings into two separate groups. You will need 14 chains, 14 small jump rings, and 2 large jump rings for each earring.
- For the first earring, use pliers to attach a small jump ring to the end of one chain. Repeat on the 13 remaining chains, so that each chain has a single jump ring.
- Separate your chains into 2 equal sets; that's 7 chains per set, if you don't like counting.
- Attach each set of 7 chains to 1 large jump ring (see images in Step 3).
- Connect the 2 large jump rings to create your first earring. Again, you should have 14 chains in total per earring (see images in Step 3).
- Repeat Steps 2-5 for the second earring.
Now it's time to mount the earrings to the ribbon clamps. For the first earring, thread a piece of fishing line through the 2 large jump rings, then thread the line through the top of the ribbon clamp. Tie a triple knot to secure the earring to the clamp, and then clip any excess fishing line. Repeat for the second earring.
Phew! You're done with construction-now you can spray paint! First, make sure you're in a well-ventilated area. Next, you'll need to prep and protect your workspace; we suggest picking a flat area (duh) and covering it with old magazines or newspapers.
Cover the top half of your earrings with a piece of paper, leaving the lower half exposed for paint.
- Apply a thin layer of black spray paint to bottom half of the earrings. Leave them flat on the workspace for approximately 15 minutes or until dry. Flip the earrings over and lightly spray the other side. (Note: too much paint will make the chains clump and stick together-eek!)
- Once the earrings are fully dry-at least 15 minutes, but possibly much more-apply a small amount of Gorilla Super Glue to the back of each earring post. Hold the posts against the ribbon clamps for approximately ten seconds until firmly in place. Voila! Disco earrings!-Jessica Baker