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Tassels and fringe are in the swing again

The feature, which combines bits of the past and today, adds a fluid, feminine touch to earrings, purses and other accessories.

April 24, 2011|By Janet Kinosian | Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Twenty-four-karat gold-plated Konduz earrings from the Afghanistan-inspired Sunari collection are handmade, $170.
Twenty-four-karat gold-plated Konduz earrings from the Afghanistan-inspired… (A Peace Treaty )

When actress Natalie Portman walked this year's Oscar red carpet, raspberry tasseled Tiffany earrings swinging, jewelry aficionados took notice. Tassels and fringe are popping up all over, on earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings — as well as purses, scarves, belts and shoes.

Today's tasseled-themed jewelry is a bit Art Deco, a bit hippie '70's revival, a bit ancient Egypt and a touch old-world Venetian, all threaded together with a 21st century sensibility.

"Tassels are very feminine and also very tactile," says London-based jeweler Carolina Bucci, who regularly uses them as a signature part of her collection, when asked why they reappear in fashion so often. "They help jewelry achieve its potential, which is to turn metal or material into something fluid and feminine, something that draws attention to a body part as we move."

Here is a small sampling of some of the season's loveliest tasseled jewelry.

Padma: Created by Padma Lakshmi, the Emmy-nominated co-host of "Top Chef," these delicious and delicate tasseled earrings remind the Indian-born Lakshmi of her native country. Ten-karat yellow-gold tiny scrolled hangers hold dozens of topaz beads, which drip from hundreds of garnet briolettes. $750. Available online at Neiman Marcus,, or visit for stores and more information.

Theodora & Callum: Launched just this spring, the new accessory brand's '70s revival of all things hippie-ish and Mediterranean is hot. The company, named after partners Stefani Greenfield and Desiree Gruber's children, has jewelry that's bold but feminine. This convertible gold-plated tassel necklace with turquoise glass stones fulfills multiple functions: wear it as a choker, a long solo chain or even as a belt or bracelet. $325. Available at

Juicy Couture: Juicy's spring line shows tassels and fringe on earrings, bracelets, necklaces, scarves, hats, handbags, even headbands. Not for the timid, the bold medallion-and-tassel Drama necklace makes quite a statement. Tassels dangle from gold-plated spheres with faceted clear glass stones. $178. Available at or go to for similar styles.

Carolina Bucci: The great-granddaughter of a Florentine jeweler creates lush pieces using looms and tools similar to those her relatives used nearly 125 years ago. She weaves intricate silk and yellow gold into this five-strand Lucky Bracelet, elevating the traditional friendship bracelet to fine jewelry. It comes in a variety of colored silks such as yellow, orange, pink, red, turquoise, violet, beige, burgundy, brown, light and dark green, denim or black and woven with 18 karat gold. $2,540. Contact her New York showroom, (212) 682-3238, or You can also order Carolina Bucci jewelry from Roseark in Los Angeles, (323) 822-3600.

Sachin + Babi: Manhattan lifestyle power couple Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia both grew up in India in fashion-oriented families and met in New York while studying design. Sachin + Babi combines pretty with trendy in intertwining graduated, golden-plated brass orbs with pyrite teardrop stones dangling delicate link tassel chains. Sodalite cube stones hook the upper rings of their Milano ear bobs. $110. Available at Greta in Beverly Hills, (310) 247-1006.

Jose & Maria Barrera: The husband-and-wife team create splendid Spanish-influenced ornate jewelry. An intricate, bright and bold statement necklace with 24-karat yellow gold plate with coral-dyed shell beads has a thick tassel that drips down the center below a huge medallion. $915. Available at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, (310) 550-5900.

Philippe Audibert: The Parisian designer is known for his exotic silver and gold-plated tin and pewter bead jewelry. A gold-plated pewter tri-bracelet with scores of beads and a solo tassel can bump up a casual look. All pieces are handmade in Audibert's Paris studio. $280. Available at Net-A-Porter,, or find similar bracelets and earrings at

Solange Azagury-Partridge: The eccentric London designer's exceptionally creative jewelry is as unique and exotic as her name. Her elegant flat Fringe ring is from the Beauties collection and is available in 18-karat white and 18-karat yellow gold, with tiny diamonds at the tips of some of the tassels. $5,400. Available at her eponymous Rodeo Drive boutique, (310) 276- 4500. See more on her website,

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