I remember desperately wanting my ears pierced. In the mornings before 3rd grade (I was 8 at the time), I’d scotch tape cutouts of stars, moons and flowers to my lobes.
“Your teachers will think you’re crazy, worse yet, they will think that I am letting you out of the house like this,” my mom had said.
To which my reply was “then let me get my ears pierced.” I think I stomped my foot for emphasis. The verdict: not happening until I was 14. It was a number she’d arbitrarily come up with and for me seemed like a lifetime.
So I did what any 8 year old would do, I went over her head to her mom, my grandmother. She took one look at the scotch tape creations and promptly took me to a jewelry store near where she lived in Brooklyn. I almost changed my mind and passed out when I saw the “gun” but I made it through. Then, I waited six weeks with the surgical steel studs till I could wear the little twisted wire 18K gold hoops my grandmother bought for me. My mom felt manipulated and decided to scare me into listening to her in the future with talk about infections and other really dramatic stuff that never happened.
By the time high school rolled around, I wanted an asymmetrical look and let some guy pierce one more hole in my right ear and two more in my left with ice and a sewing needle. My mom just rolled her eyes and cautioned me never to wear anything too heavy because that would cause the earlobes to droop and the holes to stretch as I got older. Sounded awful and left more of an impression than the earlier warnings.
But throughout my twenties and thirties, which were in the ’80s and ’90s I was into style over function (not realizing there was a way to have both) and I wore everything from large dangling ethnic styles to over sized gold hoops. But once a chandelier earring got caught on a crochet sweater, I decided to retire the longer, heavier looks for delicate double drops and ultra small pendant earrings, mostly antique styles that were lighter in weight. I began meeting women who went through the ordeal of getting their piercings sewed up and re-pierced again and also noticed the dreaded droop. I was not going to let a fashionable pair of earrings take down my lobes.
Then in 2002, I met Brazilian born designer Moritz Glik, who, in addition to his sophisticated yet playful collection of floating diamond jewelry set between sapphire crystals, creates featherweight longer and chandelier style earrings that literally feel like you are not wearing anything, very contemporary in feeling yet with undertones of antique style and technique. A little over a year ago, I met Sara Freedenfeld who spins gold into a fluid collection of fabric inspired designs for her Amali collection, (sentimentally named after her grandmother). She weaves every piece out of chain herself and her longer looks are also airy and lightweight.
Both designers have allowed me to expand my earring collection, at a time when longer, more fluid earrings with movement are being shown everywhere from runway to red carpet.
In time, gravity would have it’s pull on my ears like it’s having on my upper arms and gluts but I am going to hold out in style until then.
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