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Twisted Finds — Woven Thread And Rope Cording Mark This Season’s Funkiest Necklaces

Back in my pigtail-rocking, pom-pom sock-wearing days, I remember spending hours laboring over strands of colorful thread that I planned on transforming into friendship bracelets which I’d ceremoniously present to my schoolyard buddies. I’d tie the long strands of thread or yarn together, securing the frayed end atop the knot to the floor with a piece of Scotch tape, then dividing the strands beneath the knot into sections and braiding them meticulously to create perfectly woven lines and blocks in repeating patterns.  It was time consuming and involved some serious concentration, but the final result felt all the more precious because of the amount of time devoted to its completion.

Eventually, as I moved from juice boxes to Big Gulps (hey, it was the ’80s) and my attention shifted from BFFs to boy-crush-of-the-month, friendship bracelets became embarrassing tokens of my not-so-distant past. And, once I became an adult (at least in theory), the idea of wearing a friendship bracelet seemed laughable.

Imagine my surprise, then, when jewelry designers began toying with this classic childhood accessory, finding ways to conjure up the nostalgia associated with these items while also pushing the style envelope through their modern reinventions. In recent months, we’ve seen a plethora of necklaces that integrate woven thread and satin or silk ribbons, alongside cords and rope details, playfully referencing those friendship bracelets of yore.

Below, you’ll find some of my latest amiguitas:

Lamprini Coral Reef Necklace, $237.50. Available at Bottica.com

This necklace hugs the neck delicately, never pinching it as closely as a choker but, instead, resting right at the center of the collarbone area. Made with cotton knitting yarn woven through the chunky links of a metal chain, each necklace is a one-of-a-kind piece featuring aquatic turquoise, blue, azure, and aquamarine shares inspired by the sea surrounding Greece’s Ionian islands.

ViaMinima Neon Cord Necklace, $43.50. Available at Etsy.com

As tribal fashions continue to rule runways and sidewalks, so do accessories inspired by the rope necklaces crafted throughout South Africa. This handmade necklace captures the trend without sacrificing your bank balance. Each tiered necklace measures 12″ in diameter at its largest point and is crafted using flexible cord wrapped in a color-blocked pattern using cotton thread in hot pink, royal blue, orange and turquoise. These tubular cords are then accented using lampwork glass rings and faceted turquoise glass beads.
Venessa Arizaga Mayan Sunrise Gold-Plated Necklace, $325. Available at Net-a-Porter.com
The name says it all. This punchy piece by jewelry designer Venessa Arizaga incorporates  the vivid hues one would associate with a South American sunset, with electric coral pink, stormy sapphire blue, clean rosy lilac, and lush forest green thread woven through four strands of gold-plated brass box chains, conjoining them along the sides. The center of the necklace, meanwhile, allows the chains to be the center of attention, with the four strands creating a layered, ladder-like effect.

ZulloDesigns Jewel Tone Rope Collar, $65. Available at Etsy.com

Etsy, the premiere online marketplace for artisan wares, is populated with talented, unsung jewelry designers angling for some exposure. If this black rope collar necklace is any indication, ZulloDesigns deserves to be included in this category. Measuring 20″ in length, this rope necklace is infused with a festive, disco glam vibe thanks to the multi-colored embroidery thread wrapped around some of its sections, not to mention the wine-colored or navy-colored thread framing the slim brass rings that designate each color-blocked section.

Ettika Neon Satin Cord Necklace with Gold Donut Rings, $98. Available at Ettika.com

Woven bracelets and necklaces are encoded into Ettika’s DNA so it would be an injustice to omit them from any piece highlighting this trend. And, while other designers focus on very structured and polished pieces or overload necklaces with stones, beads, bells, charms, and anything they unearth, Ettika prefers that its pieces convey a laid-back, easy, almost beachy vibe. This necklace is a shining example — with neon green, pink, and yellow satin ribbons braided along the sides and woven through the center of gold donut rings along the middle section, it reminds us of the colored Zinka sunscreen colors protecting the sun-exposed skin of surfers and water sport athletes in the late ’80s.

Kelsey Quan Camp Adventures Necklace, $395. Available at KelseyQuan.com

Designer Kelsey Quan approaches each of her jewelry designs as if creating a mobile sculpture, taking into account angles, textures, colors, shapes, shadows and light, contours and more. The “Camp Adventures” necklace pictured here plays on the idea of the clunky, massive, cumbersome arts-and-crafts projects we all made at summer camp and then gifted to our mothers (who practiced their poker faces while showering us with praise). But, of course, this is a far cry from a painted macaroni necklace or some papier-mâché atrocity. This two-tiered necklace, then, features a smaller strand with a black-and-white netted pattern and three snake-like mesh strands clustered along the bottom, all lumped together by the hooks securing the raw agate stones dangling from their lower rim. The lower strand, meanwhile, is made of a rope cord wrapped in orange-and-cream tie dye leather and embellished with amethyst-colored ball beads tied to the cord with green thread.

Holst + Lee Four Strand Necklace, $510. Available at Shopbop.com

Ever since designer Mara Hoffman adorned her technicolor Kahlo-inspired dresses and blouses with Holst + Lee rope necklaces during her SS12 presentation at Lincoln Center, the New York City-based brand has been kicking up some serious style dust. Launched by Natalia Holst and Rochelle Lee, this up-and-coming jewelry line specializes in tribal-inspired necklaces manufactured using mixed materials and bright, audacious colors. This particular necklace features four tubular strands arranged in a tiered fashion, each wrapped with threads of different fabrics (cotton, silk, linen, and satin among them) and colors (chartreuse, vermilion, antique gold, black, ecru, azure, cyan blue, and even a chevron-esque red-and-blue pattern. Measuring 34″ in length, the necklace also features gold- and silver-plated beads for a hint of glimmer.

Ranna Gill Navala Necklace, $68. Available at Anthropologie.com

Measuring 20″ in length and 3″ in width, this three-strand necklace features tubular strands wrapped in lilac pink, paprika orange, and mustard yellow cotton thread and adorned with marble-shaped wooden beads, metal rings, multi-colored seed beads, coiled metals springs, cube-shaped metal beads, and tiny metal ball beads. The final jewel-toned piece is worthy of Bollywood leading lady’s decolletage.

Dannijo Rogan Necklace, $720. Available at Dannijo.com
This statement necklace features a row of fang-shaped turquoise stone beads dangling from an expanse of tangled, brass-plated chains. One strand features red and gold satin strips woven through bulky chain links and is adorned with a medallion-like pendant featuring snake chains wrapped around a Swarovski crystal-adorned station. A secondary tubular strand, meanwhile, features stacked trade beads in violet and pink, while a third layer features an unadorned metal chain.

Rachel Rachel Roy Chain and Thread Frontal Necklace, $85. Available at RachelRoy.com

New York-based designer Rachel Roy is always at the frontline of every fashion trend, and this one is no exception. This multi-strand,bib-style necklace features brass curb chains interspersed between tubular strands wrapped in thread to create a cord-like effect. Roy’s color choices  –lime, olive, emerald, kiwi, yellow gold and copper to recall foliage and wine, orange, yellow, emerald, burgundy, copper, and gold to reference desert landscapes — are what allows this necklace to truly shine, coating it with an earthy, world traveler, gypsy jet-setter vibe.

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