Creepy Crawlers Jewelry — Slithering, Slightly Spooky, And Totally Bugged Out!
One of this season’s predominant jewelry trends speaks to our collective penchant for contradiction (which is, after all, one of the many tendencies intrinsic to the human condition). Though we may arm ourselves with Off! sprays, hand-held flyswatters, sticky fly traps, vapor-emitting mosquito repellent coils, ant baits, and boric acid to exorcise all pesky insects from our abodes, this spring we’re inviting these bugs to perch on our fingers, lobes, and necks. Necklaces, rings, brooches, and earrings are adorned with ladybugs, spiders, beetles, ants, flies, bees, and scarabs — all creatures that would typically make us cringe or even shriek in horror before dialing the exterminator. Jewelry designers, then, are making us reassess the way we view these creatures, urging us to look at beauty in the unexpected.
But this season is about more than an insect imaginarium. Oft feared and reviled creatures like crocodiles, alligators, frogs, and snakes also abound in the jewelry kingdom, enticing us to covet what we’ve historically snubbed.
Below, you’ll find some of our favorite on-trend pieces. Let the reptile revolution and the insect insurgence commence!
Le Vian Snake 14K Yellow Gold Ring, $3197. Visit LeVian.com for more details.
This 14k yellow gold snake ring slithers along the finger, its pointed tail grazing the knuckle and its rounded, cobra-like head extending past the middle of the finger. The round, faceted lime green, magenta, and tangerine gemstones set against rich chocolate diamonds make this piece even more of a charmer.
Lanvin Swarovski Crystal Fly Brooch, $760. Available at Net-a-Porter.com
When Alber Elbaz sent models strutting down the runway in exquisite, ethereal flowing skirts with up-to-there slits; fitted, one-shoulder maxi dresses, and ruched cocktail dresses and skirts that clung to the skin like Saran wrap at the Lanvin Spring 2011 show, guests cooed in awe. But, then, Elbaz’s garments are almost guaranteed to dazzle, so the real surprise during the show were the chunky insect necklaces and brooches adorning these pieces. A perfect example: this fly-themed brooch which features carefully sculpted, burnished pewter legs; minuscule black Swarovski crystals along the bulbous lower body; a ridge of clear Swarovski crystals in between the eyes; polished pewter stones to resemble a fly’s beady eyes; and faceted, teardrop-shaped, smoky gray Swavroski crystals as wings. Talk about flying high!
Rachel Rachel Roy Beetle Ring, $50. Available at RachelRoy.com
Until recently, Volkswagen Bugs were the only “beetles” I found adorable but, thanks to innovative designers like Rachel Roy, I’m beginning to reconsider my position on these antennae-guided creatures. This affordable Rachel Rachel Roy ring, measuring 1″ in width and 1.5″ in length, seems to draw inspiration from the leaf beetle, which typically boasts an iridescent green, armor-like exterior. Made of a brassy gold metal, the statement ring features metallic chartreuse green plates along the sides of the beetle’s body, clear rhinestones lined vertically along the ridge between them, and conical spikes below the beetle’s etched head.
Kimberly Baker Eve Necklace, $325. Available at KimberlyBaker.com
Christian societies tend to associate snakes with temptation, but many ancient civilizations referenced this animal as a symbol of wisdom, rebirth, infinity, and enlightenment. In one Buddhist tale, for example, a serpent wrapped itself seven times around the Buddha, protecting him throughout the duration of a tumultuous, seven-day storm and hence ensuring that his ecstatic state remained unperturbed throughout this period. And, in ancient African an Mayan civilizations, when a snake was shown biting its own tail, it was a reference to infinity and the cyclical nature of life. Whatever your take on these scaly, slithering, hissing reptiles, this Kimberly Baker necklace will make you feel as sexy as Britney Spears did when she channeled a belly dancer at the 2001 VMAs, propping a 9-foot-long yellow Bermese python atop her shoulders while gyrating her hips. Perhaps Kimberly Baker’s most impressive piece to date, the Eve necklace features a thick, 18k yellow gold curb chain and, at its center, a coiled, silver plated, carefully etched snake biting its own tail.
M.C.L. by Matthew Campbell Laurenza Pavé Spiderweb Cuffs, $2435 each. Visit MCLdesign.net for more info.
Did you know spiders can spin waves up to 20 times their size? How can you not be impressed with an insect blessed with such ambition? These sterling silver cuff bracelets feature layered cobweb motifs, with colorful spiders holding court at their centers. Pavé-set black diamonds cover each pointed ridge of the spiderweb, while clear rhinestones or colored sapphire stones line the interior of the cut-outs as well as the top and bottom ridges, hence giving the bracelets a 3-dimensional feel.
Dominic Jones Stag Beetle Ring, $515. Available at Net-a-Porter.com
In ancient Egypt, the god Khepera, whose duty it was to “roll” the sun across the sky during sunrise, was often depicted as having a scarab head. Since stag beetles and scarabs bear such a strong resemblance, both were incorporated into ancient hieroglyphs. This 2.5 inch-long, 22k gold plated stag beetle ring by Dominic Jones, with its sleek finish, triple-band finish, and elongated antenna merits any words of reverence it garners.
Jezebel Ant Necklace, $520. Available at CatbirdNYC.com
Remember Aesop’s “The Ant And The Grasshopper” fable? While the grasshopper solely concerned itself with immediate matters, the ant was savvy enough to prepare for the days ahead, stocking up food for winter even on a warm summer’s days. Celebrate ants’ industriousness with this Jezebel necklace, which features two 14k rose gold ants at the center of a 15″-long, 10k yellow gold chain.
Sydney Evan Black Rhodium and Diamond Spider Ring, $1775. Available at SydneyEvan.com
You don’t need to be a Peter Parker aficionado to appreciate spider motifs. This 14k gold ring boasts a black rhodium finish to give it a slightly sinister bite, with pavé set diamonds adorning the spider’s legs, body an antennae. Best part: the rain can’t wash this itsy bitsy spider out!
Rachel Rachel Roy Snake Hoop Earrings, $36. Available at RachelRoy.com
Unlike traditional hoops with their perfectly circular shapes, these earrings feature more of a rectangular form, with rounded edges to soften the silhouette. Light etchings along the length of the earrings resemble keeled scales, while red rhinestones represent brilles. The snake’s head is positioned at the very top of the hoop, creating the illusion that the reptile’s forked tongue is inserted through the wearer’s pierced lobe.
Kenneth Jay Lane Alligator Ring made with Swarovski Elements, $175.00. Available at Swarovski-Crystallized.com
There’s a cartoonish charm to this ring, made by revered designer Kenneth Jay Lane for Swarovski Crystallized, mainly thanks to the alligator’s oversize head (it measures 30 x 45 mm) and its googly tear-shaped eyes. Swarovski Elements stones in gradient shades of green — from emerald to light spearmint — add to perky, youthful effect. But it’s the shape itself we most appreciate: unlike most alligator pieces, which show the animal in one elongated, linear formation, this one steers away from the norm, with the animal’s head cocked to the side relative to its body. Another unexpected touch: the open jaws, which reveal silver spikes meant to resemble the gator’s gnarly teeth.
Skova Soul African Gem Necklace, $135. Available at SkovaSoul.com
This coiled snake seems to draw color to its body, wrapping its tail around faceted, octagonal glass stones in clear, orange and fuchsia shades.
Little Rooms Crocodile Moat Ring, $85, and Little Rooms Moat Monster 3 Finger Ring, $118. Available at LittleRooms.com
Though these pieces from the Little Rooms Cryptid Collection are most informed by fables pertaining to medieval times, their usage of crocodile and sea serpent motifs make them ideal picks for those harboring a reptilian fascination. The Moat Monster 3-Finger Ring is particularly impressive thanks to the wealth of details and the level of intricacy: from the deep teal blue color of the enamel surface and its glaze-like finish, which makes it resemble water, to the brick effect created by the etchings along the sides, and the carefully sculpted sea monster undulating along the ring’s length.
Carolee Loyal Ladybug Pin, $19. Available at Carolee.com
Though it’s not the traditional spotted ladybug, this Carolee pin will bring just as much luck to anyone who wears it. Measuring 1″ in height and 3/4″ in width, the Loyal Ladybug Pin features a rounded cherry quartz body and a hematite head adorned with iridescent crystals.
Jessica Kagan Cushman Taranchula Cuff, $170. Available at MaxandChloe.com
Arachnophobia, be gone! This ivory-colored, engraved resin cuff from designer Jessica Kagan Cushman features a hand-painted illustration of a tarantula worthy of an entomologist’s sketch book.
Melinda Maria Python Pave Wrap Ring, $168. Available at MaxandChloe.com
Like a stretched Slinky toy, this 18k gold plated Melinda Maria ring wraps around the finger to yield four rows of perfect coils. Measuring 7.5″ in length, the python ring is adorned with black onyx cubic zirconia stones and emerald cubic zirconia stones on the eyes.The embossed scroll details interspersed between the black onyx cubic zirconia stones give the piece more texture, drawing th onlooker into this python’s Pantheon.
Noir Alligator Ring in Green/Gold, $130. Available at RevolveClothing.com
It would take a million Crocodile Dundees to wrestle this Noir piece off your finger! The 3″-long ring features a golden gator in a restful but vigilant state, its boy covered in peridot green crystals to resemble its natural scales, with brown crystals along its head, center ridge and swooshing tail giving the piece greater contrast.
Emily Elizabeth Bee Stud Earrings, $30. Available at EmilyElizabethJewelry.com
Buzz-worthy and beautiful, these gold plated stud earrings measure only a 1/2″ in height, adding just the right touch of honey sweetness to your lobes.
Skova Soul Web Ring, $75. Available at SkovaSoul.com
Among Skova’s many wilderness-inspired jewelry offerings, you’ll find this Medusa-worthy golden ring, which features a spaghetti-like cluster of intertwined snakes, all with diagonal etchings along their bodies and ruby-colored stones to resemble eyes.
Stenzhorn Alligator Rings and Hinged Bracelet, Prices Available Upon Request. For U.S. stores, call 203-227-9082 or visit Stenzhorn.com
These alligators certainly didn’t emerge from any New York City sewer! No, these 18k rose gold gators likely hail from a prestigious area of Sarasota or Boca Raton, which is why they’re dripping with pavé-set white diamonds and see the world through tsavorite eyes. The alligator-theme Stenzhorn pieces include a hinged bracelet, a two-headed ring, and another ring with a gator silhouette resting atop a scaly band. One of our favorite design details: the way these pieces capture the slight webbing between a gator’s toes.
Jessica Elliot Snake Earrings, $100. Available at JessicaElliot.com
Aside from the 18k gold vermeil snake accents dangling from the bottom of these hoops, what makes these Jessica Elliot earrings so enticing is how the hoop is open-ended, hanging from the back of the ear rather than being fastened to the lob by a post or clip-on closure.
Carolee Fashionista Fly Pin, $16. Available at Carolee.com
If flies were this cute, we might never bother to invest in window screens! This playful, silver-toned pin measures 3/4 inch in height and 3/4 inch in width and features an oval-shaped, sapphire-colored glass stone body with square cuts to give it a faceted but whimsical look, slim wings with leaf-like veins and clear stone accents, and a resplendent metal head with emerald-colored glass stones as eyes.
Le Vian 14K Rose Gold Snake Earrings with Chocolate Diamonds, $2547. Visit LeVian.com for more information.
Covered with clear and chocolate diamonds, these undulating, rose gold Le Vian earrings form an “S” shape that’s sultry and simply irresistible.
Jessica Elliot Critters Double Ring, $65. Available at MaxandChloe.com
Jessica Elliot’s floating double rings, open-top pieces which feature round Swarovski crystal tips that fall in between fingers, figure among the designer’s most renowned work (thanks, in part, to Rihanna’s fondness for them), but she has so much more in her creative arsenal. This sterling silver double ring features a slim, curved bar at the top measuring 1.25″ in length, with etched ladybug, butterfly, dragonfly, hummingbird, and bee accents covering its surface. The blackened hue in the crevices of the insect charms’ etchings gives this piece a lived-in, vintage-like feel, that imbues the otherwise dainty and ladylike ring with a rock-n-roll vibe.