As ladies who love truly one-of-a-kind finds, it should come as no surprise that we're constantly on the hunt for pieces that are both visually intriguing and wonderfully crafted. And while earlier this spring we were focused on the amazing metal work and bold design of tribal necklaces, right now we find ourselves reaching for baubles with a more luxurious and antique-like look that's reminiscent of Byzantine jewelry. The artistry of that empire--which lasted nearly a thousand years, primarily during the Middle Ages, and encompassed the majority of the Mediterranean region--can be defined by its intricate metalwork and ornate pieces festooned with precious stones, gold, and pearls. With this inspirational era in mind, we've rounded up some of the best highly decorative, decidedly intricate baubles on the market right now--from a stone-bedecked cuff to a pair of embossed metal earrings--all of which offer a hint of old-world charm that you absolutely must Go Buy Now!
If you're in need of some additional information before investing in this eye-catching trend, we suggest checking out Chanel's Pre-Fall 11 show for an on-point reference. For the collection, Karl Lagerfeld showcased a melding of Byzantine details with a hint of more modern bohemia, and each ensemble radiated worldly decadence. In the featured look above, Lagerfeld set off the Gold Sequin Muslin Jacket ($39083, 800.550.0005) and Green and Black Tweed Pants ($3070, 800.550.0005) with an enviable array of accessories, including a Metal Necklace with Embellished Natural Stones (price upon request, 800.550.0005), Pendant Pearl Earrings ($1146, 800.550.0005), and Metal Hairband Embellished with Glass and Pearls ($3588, 800.550.0005). The resulting look embodies luxury and accessibility, an undeniably chic combination.
Off the runway, we spotted Giovanna Battaglia at the Style.com party celebrating the re-launch of Natalie Joos' blog, Tales of Endearment, demonstrating a more wearable approach to the Byzantine-inspired look. The L'Uomo Vogue fashion editor wore a vintage, embellished, mint-colored tunic, clearly influenced by this luxurious era, which she grounded with a pair of sleek C.B. Made In Italy loafers by the up-and-coming designer Cecilia Bringheli. Of course you don't have to wear the trend from head-to-toe, as our runway and style inspirations did! Instead, take an easier path and simply reach for jewelry with a Byzantium vibe, as it's sure to give even the simplest outfit a chic dose of opulence!
1. Topshop Gold Aztec Inspired Necklace by Pamela Love ($180)
Pamela Love's designs are never lacking in the wow-factor, as the Gold Aztec Inspired Necklace, which was designed exclusively for Topshop, demonstrates perfectly. The striking necklace exudes old-world charm, and makes a fashion-forward statement while maintaining its authentic appeal.
2. Carol Marie Pyramid Ring ($90)
The pyramid has long been a shape that makes a statement, and this Carol Marie Pyramid Ring is no exception. A tarnished silver base and organically cut triangular stone make donning this ring an easy way to draw attention to your trendsetting abilities--and your manicure.
3. Lucky Brand Two Tone Stone Bangles ($59)
For a simple way to pay tribute to the art of the ancients, opt for Lucky Brand's Two Tone Stone Bangles. Hammered detailing, embellished metal, and multi-colored stones separate these thin, layered bangles from the pack, and will bring a hint of this trend to virtually any outfit.
4. Chico's Barra Earrings ($24)
Thanks to a mix of muted gold and silver tones offset by culturally inspired etchings and sparkling glass additions, these embossed earrings look like something you could have picked up overseas--a treasured find, indeed!
5. A Peace Treaty Necklace ($260, 512.579.0303)
Sometimes subtlety provides the most memorable statement, and the A Peace Treaty Necklace is testament to this idea. With its elegant-meets-on-trend allure, this piece is sure to become a mainstay in your jewelry rotation.
6. BaubleBar Chained Circle Bib Necklace ($85)
Although the Byzantine Empire had an obvious liking for the elaborate, a welcome counterpart can be found in the existence of more elemental pieces. BaubleBar's Bib Necklace showcases an array of textured and imperfect circles, giving the piece a refreshing hand-hewn quality that's perfect for any season.
7. Ben-Amun Byzantine Multi Color Stone Square Bracelet ($320, 212.944.6480)
We have a special appreciation for jewelry showcasing exceptionally unique handiwork, which is why we'd be remiss if we didn't include Ben-Amun's Byzantine Multi Color Stone Square Bracelet! With eye-catching colors and anomalous design, this cuff is both a covetable treasure and a must-have statement piece for fall.
8. BaubleBar Sunburst Earrings ($24)
If you're searching for a pair of earrings that are just as light and airy as they are glamorous, look no further than BaubleBar's Sunburst earrings. This set showcases detailed carving as well as sparkling gems, and its sunny nature will take you from summer to fall with ease!
9. Dannijo Lucas Ring ($180) in Citrine and Teal
In addition to an obvious penchant for metal crafting, the Byzantine Empire's elite were also partial to stones and gems, hence, the reason we included Dannijo's awe-inspiring Lucas Ring. Featuring a modern geometric design and beautiful Swarovski elements, this elaborate bauble is obsession-worthy to say the least, plus a simple way to add a hint of drama to your fall ensembles.
10. Isharya Bala Kanda Bangle ($298) in 18k Gold Plated Brass
The Byzantines favored jewelry that was intricate and ornate in appearance, and Isharya's Bala Kanda Bangle pays ample tribute to this aesthetic. Extremely detailed metalwork and a unique square shape make this bangle the ultimate adornment for both exotic and everyday adventures.--Calin Van Paris