Written by Hannah Rose-Yee
Whenever I see a pearl, I think of my grandmother.
In Hong Kong, pearls are special, sacred things. They are the gifts given to you when you ascend to the ranks of adulthood and marriage. They speak of sophistication and elegance. My grandmother has a string of beautiful, luminscent pearls she wears to special occasions, resting lightly against the collar of her cheong sam.
I don't know what she would think about the pearl jewellery taking over your wardrobes this season. Big, chunky freshwater pearls dangling from earlobes or mismatched pearls dropping low in chandelier-style earrings. These are look-at-me pearls, statement pearls, the exact antithesis of everything my grandmother and her simple necklace stood for.
I love them.
"Pearls in 2018 are so diverse!" the designer of Reliquia, who chooses to remain anonymous, tells The UNDONE. "I put my keshi pearl earrings in and don't take them out for weeks so I think they can be worn in almost any way. They still have the ability to be elevated in a classic evening look but can just as easily be paired with simple denim and a tee."
Reliquia's keshi pearl drop earrings - a sell-out style for The UNDONE - are some of the most popular pearl offerings available from this store, along with baroque styles from Holly Ryan's jewellery brand.
They're beloved, Reliquia's designer explains, because they're not perfect. Traditionally, keshi pearls were discarded by pearl hunters because each one is unique, swollen and moulded with ridges. "There is something romantic about the fact that each earring is different," the designer says. "They are an update to the traditional perfectly spherical pearl that can be associated with an older and more conservative customer."
That sounds like my grandmother. And yet I want to buy a pair for her. I can see her in them, hair brushed back and secured by a jade clip, pearls dangling from her ears.
At The UNDONE, we'll take pearls in any form, from the organic and magical shaped baroque and keshi, to the perfectly round and button shaped. They're the jewellery piece we'll hold onto forever and pass down, as they'll never go out of fashion.