Desire is growing for asymmetric earrings, which provide a youthful look and more styling options.

Share story

Move over matchy-matchy: Fashion’s trend for bold mashups of contrasting prints and colors is making its way into the world of jewelry.

“Customers are increasingly interested in asymmetric jewelry, especially earrings,” says Natalie Kingham, buying director at fashion retailer MatchesFashion.com. Earrings, long a loving pair, are especially ripe for this look, and are being uncoupled into mismatched shapes, sizes or different colored stones.

Youthful asymmetry

Valérie Messika, founder and creative director of Messika, has been a fan of asymmetry from day one. Her Parisian brand infuses a much-needed lightness into the convention-laden diamond-jewelry industry.

“Even around 15 years ago when I first started out, I always felt I looked older in a full set of diamonds or matching diamond earrings,” she says. “I wanted to break the codes — to do something more cool and rock ’n’ roll.”

Messika’s latest line, themed around 1920s Paris, includes a set that combines a flamboyant ear cuff with a more pared-back hoop. Another set pairs two diamond clusters — one large and the other small. The large earring nearly covers the entire ear, which is partly why Messika went with a smaller one for the other side. “Otherwise it’s too bling-bling,” she says.

Fashion, as ever, is Messika’s cue. “Wearing a very precious and delicate diamond today is like pairing frayed, ripped jeans with a beautiful pair of designer shoes. It’s more unexpected. I like the mix of sensibilities,” she says.

Individual option

Another option, buying individual earrings, also offers a strong statement look, Kingham says.

“By purchasing two single earrings and wearing them together, you essentially buy into two trends in one go,” she says.

At the Australian brand Alinka, founded by the St. Petersburg-born Alina Barlow, now based in Sydney, customers can buy its funky, rebellious earrings as either singles or pairs. The Kremlin star-inspired Stasia Drop Earrings, for example, stack a large and a small bejeweled star and have a detachable post so they can be worn two ways or combined with other earrings.

“I wanted a woman to wear whatever mix she feels on the day,” Barlow says. “The idea is to build up your own collection.”

Fans of asymmetrical styling tend be more “fashion-forward and experimental,” Barlow says, but they are not all young. “I had a woman in her 60s try on the pieces and loved the mix.”