This Pandora jewellery blog article takes an in depth preview of the Pandora Nostalgic Rock collection for autumn winter 2011 and the new Pandora necklace concept.
I was in a Pandora concept store at the weekend when I stumbled across a necklace display that rather caught my eye. Pandora’s autumn collection was known as Nostalgic Rock. I should mention that this range launched back in September but it’s only recently that I’ve begun to take notice of Pandora again.
I was initially a Pandora collector. I began collecting Trollbeads for a couple of reasons. Firstly it’s hard not to notice Trollbead’s range of vibrant glass beads. Secondly at the time I was beginning to feel that Pandora were focusing more on their other ranges (Love Pods and Liquid Silver) and less on the charms that I adored so dearly.
While Trollbeads still have the clear edge on glass and gemstone beads, Pandora have been producing a lot of beautiful charms again. In addition, they’ve released a number of new bracelets allowing you to wear their charms in quite varied fashions. Ultimately, their autumn collection has me hooked once more. Pandora have always been loyal to fashion trends and are arguably a much more commercial brand than Trollbeads. Their autumn release encompassed a trend seen on the catwalks – that of a gothic, biker, rock-edged urban chic. To reflect this in their jewellery, their range had a distinctly rock feel to it, utilising some black rhodium silver and darker tarnished designs.
While this is a late review, I think Pandora deserve it as they’ve successfully created a very fashionable collection for autumn and winter.
The New Necklace Concept
Like Trollbeads, Pandora bracelets have always been popular due to their customizable nature. People can create a bracelet that reflects themselves as individuals. Necklaces holding beads are no new thing. Both Pandora and Trollbeads have had them in their collections for a while. To encompass their Nostalgic Rock collection, Pandora have released a set of necklaces that can be combined together to create a layered look.
Using their new s-lock and range of clips, necklaces can be gathered together resulting in a dimensional look. The s-lock is available in either the traditional polished silver or a darker rhodium version, depending upon your preferences.
We’re not talking a couple of chains either, this system allows you to combine upto eight chains.
The image above shows the necklace system in action and rather than wearing it in the traditional fashion, these chains have been used in conjuction with a backless dress and draped over the shoulders. I simply love this look! It’s both feminine and edgy. It has that slightly gothic, punk feel that I love in my jewellery. What’s more with the way it’s worn in the above picture, it’s also incredibly sexy.
You can play about with the new necklace design on the Pandora website by clicking here.
In addition, you can see the necklaces in action at the start of these two you tube movies promoting the new autumn collection.
I’ll admit that when I was in the store last weekend I had my fiance with me and we were primarily looking for a new murano bead for my winter themed bracelet. As such, I only looked at these in passing and didn’t get the opportunity to “play” with them. As I’ve always found the staff working in the Pandora concept stores to be fantastic, I’m definitely going to make a trip soon to get a feel for all the different possibilities with this new necklace system.
Along with the new necklace concept has come new bracelets. Firstly is the multi-strand one clip station bracelet pictured below.
This feminine bracelet is designed to hold one single Pandora clip. It’s a beautifully delicate design that will look exquisite on occasions where heavy jewellery is perhaps not appropriate. I have to say though, I wish they’d found a slightly shorter and catchier name for it.
Next is the five clip station bracelet pictured below.
This bracelet features a more traditional chain looking design while still utilising Pandora’s iconic closure system. It’s designed to hold five Pandora clips of choice (which are changeable of course) with the finished product looking something like the picture below.
This is an ideal bracelet for people that don’t particularly like full bracelets but would rather spread out a few clips over an entire bracelet. It certainly allows the individual clips to be more noticed.
Pandora jumped on the band wagon of producing leather bracelets some time ago. These are both a more economical idea for people who can’t afford to invest in a silver bracelet and a brighter, more casual look to accompany a traditional bracelet for others. The Nostalgic Rock collection saw a total of four new leather bracelets launch; two purple and two pink.
Purple has been huge this season, it’s most definitely been one of *the* colours of the autumn and winter period in terms of fashion. Story released a shimmery purple leather bracelet in their autumnal release and Pandora have done the same. The bracelet is available in either single or double strand variations, depending upon the preference of the wearer.
In addition to the purple bracelet has come a beautiful baby pink version. Again this is available in either the single or double strand.
It’s worth noting that unfortunately the Pandora leather bracelets suffer a similar problem that the Trollbead’s leather does; they stretch. The only leather bracelet I’ve yet to find that doesn’t do this is the Story version. They “core” their bracelets with a none stretch nylon, preventing the leather from growing. Sadly though, due to the thickness of their bracelets, they aren’t compatible with any of the other charms.
The Stella Range
Within the collection comes a “mini range” which encompasses the whole vibe that Pandora were trying to capture in this release; the Stella range. This includes earrings, rings, a pendant (that can also be worn on a bracelet as a dangle bead) and a bead. Each piece utilises the contrast between dark rhodium silver and gold featuring small but beautifully decadent diamonds. If ever you wanted to feel like a rock star, this is the set to pick from.
Pandora encourage that their rings be stacked together, wearing multiple bands on one finger. It’s this stacking idea that creates a slightly more edgy feel to a look – whether it be on your wrist or your fingers. The Stella ring and band can be seen below.
Earrings don’t feature here often primarily because I’m incredibly particular about them. I’ve never liked Trollbead’s range of earrings. While I think the concept is certainly intriguing, I don’t think it was ever executed well. I’ll also say that I think they look dated in their design. None of this is to say I don’t like earrings, I do and furthermore I think a really nice set can absolutely finish otherwise perfect hair and makeup. Indeed a received a pair of Tresor Tassilly earrings as a gift from the lovely staff at Steffan’s recently and I’ve barely had them out of my ears since (and how perfect for the party season!)
The Stella earrings are just divine. They’re small enough to be worn by the majority of people without either hurting your ears or getting tangled in hair. They’re eye catching enough that they will definitely be seen. If you indulge in other pieces from this collection, the continuity created by wearing the earrings too will be flawless.
The pendant can be worn either on a necklace or on a bracelet as a “dangle” charm. Personally, I’d opt for the latter but mainly because my ideal choice would be the new range of necklaces featuring the very heavy clips (and I’ll admit I do like heavy neck jewellery to begin with.)
Finally of course comes the actual bead. I saw this in a concept store a couple of weeks ago and it was instant adoration. It’s a beautiful focal bead and you can’t help but be drawn to it. Again the contrast creates that edgy vibe so central to this entire collection and the diamond adds just the right amount of sparkle. Whether it makes you think of channeling your inner rock star, a clear midnight sky or festive decorations and stories, I suspect this charm will head up a lot of wish lists for this year.
With both the new necklace concept and the two silver bracelets being so dependent on clips, needless to say quite a few have entered the collection. One particular style I’ll admit I’m desperate for and believe they’re a fabulous idea.
Pictured above is the new Pandora double Diva clip. This clip is available with pink, grey or clear zirconia gems embedded in it’s surface giving it that distinctive Pandora “bling”. These clips are designed to be worn either with the double leather bracelets or to connect together two silver bracelets. As someone who rarely wears just one bracelet, I love this idea. I’ve seen them in the “flesh” in the concept store and they looked absolutely exquisite.
The next set of clips are the Rockstars. These are available in either traditional light stirling silver or a black rhodium version.
Following the same format as the Rockstar Clips are the two new Sphere Clips. Again these are available in two different shades of silver.
Next up are the three Encore clips available with clear, black or tourmaline cubic zirconia.
Another pair of clips comes in the form of the Fusion set available with either salmon or brown zirconia gems.
Finally, epitomising the essence of this collection is the heavily oxidised Studded Clip and the beautiful Stardom Clip.
The Safety Chain
I haven’t given a lot of credit to Pandora in recent months but there is one area in which I have always believed they have been ahead of the game; safety chains. Safety chains are one of those features we all know we should use but many of us do not. The Trollbead’s safety chains are so dull and it feels painful to spend any amount of money on them (at least that’s how it has always felt for me.) Pandora made a feature out of their chains resulting in us wanting to add them to our bracelets.
The Bouquet safety chain pictured above is a highly oxidised designed highlighted in gold making it a perfectly contrasting piece to finish a bracelet. The contrasting metallic colours are perfect for the trend of this collection, creating that definitive edgy style while remaining distinctly feminine.
Obviously a number of new charms joined the collection in this release. While there are a couple of distinctly festive inclusions, the majority of the new charms stick vehemently to the Nostalgic Rock theme. The silvers are of beautifully modern design and again there’s a lot of tarnishing or contrasting metal colours running throughout. They’ve also featured a few over size beads encouraging the idea of having a focal bead. I saw these in action on various bracelets and necklaces in the concept store and I have to say that I was impressed.
Please note, the names of these charms have been taken from Pandora’s American site. Not all of the regional sites detail the exact name of the bead and I’ve seen UK retailers particularly seem to create their own. As such, I’ve added the Pandora product code onto the image annotation. I hope this helps rectify any confusion.
Starting with the “traditional” sized beads comes the silver Circles bead pictured below. This is precisely the type of oxidisation that is seen through a lot of this collection and is going a long way towards creating that edgy vibe via the use of contrasting colours. This bead is a simple, modern design that will look at home on any bracelet.
The Nostalgic Romance charm (pictured below) is an absolute must have for me, particularly if you want to create this collection’s vibe in your bracelet. It’s heavily oxidised and very detailed. (Indeed I think multiple of this charm on a bracelet would be stunning.) In fashion, this trend goes heavy on the zip work and studs are often affixed to the clothes. This bead pays a nod to that detailing perfectly.
Next comes the heavily oxidised silver Large Perfect Posies charm. This is quite a large charm so you’re looking at a focal piece here. Again it has a design that makes it incredibly versatile and the flowers add that touch of femininity
Moving onto the very large beads comes the decadent Star bead. This will look exquisite with the Stella range particularly. I love this bead. Despite the fact that I’m not a fan of gold jewellery, I do like two tone jewellery.
The two Day Dream beads that follow feature contemporary engraving on their surface along with Pandora’s traditional use of zirconia gems.
Continuing the theme of large, focal beads come the two oxidised Show Stopper beads. Again these feature zirconia gems though they’re quite subtle for the people that don’t like much sparkle. These are heavy set, chunky beads and fit perfectly into this theme. This bead comes with a choice of black or purple zirconia. While the key to this look is avoiding much in the way of colour, they have catered to one of *the* colours of the season with the inclusion of purple. The band of colour is subtle enough to add interest to the bracelet without detracting from the theme. (In my opinion, it’s more heavily coloured glass you need to be really avoiding.)
Finally come the more traditional beads. These aren’t particularly in keeping with this theme and are more the festive offerings from Pandora for this year. The Santa Claus bead is sure to be a big seller as a Christmas present this year.
For the Disney fans out there comes the beautiful Royal Carriage. I’ve seen fans on both Trollbead’s and Pandora’s Facebook pages asking for Disney themed beads in the past. To clarify, Chamilia own the rights to official Disney beads. In addition to being two tone gold, this little bead features a fresh water pearl on the very top of the carriage. For Pandora collector’s I could see this looking beautiful with the retired Princess and the Pea and Ugly Duckling charms. They’d create a beautiful fairy tale themed combination.
Animal beads are always popular, regardless of the brand. For those of us who have pets in their life, they often take over the entire house and become truly pampered members of the family. It’s no great surprise then that these beads are so often found on the wrists of people telling their own life story.
No new collection would be complete without the addition of murano glass beads. Pandora don’t tend to release as many of these as Trollbeads and indeed I’d describe this as a primary difference between the two companies. Like it or not, it’s a decision that is very apt for this the theme of Nostalgic Rock. If you’re looking to recreate this, you really don’t want to be adding much in the way of colour. If you do want to add glass beads, stick to the simple black or white patterns and keep them few. The Black Stars bead below is perfect.
Again Pandora catered to those looking for more festive themed beads and released two more colour variations of the Stars glass pictured above; a periwinkle blue and a turquoise. I recently indulged in the paler periwinkle version and it looks perfect on my winter themed bracelet. It’s a positively icy looking bead.
The remaining glass charms revert back to the idea of using larger, focal beads in a combination and are really oversized glass. One of these, the Grey Exotic glass is particularly lovely. I’ve seen it in action on a purple leather bracelet and it was beautiful. If you do wish to add a larger glass bead to your Nostalgic Rock bracelet, this would be the one.
I adore this release from Pandora. I thoroughly enjoy seeing a jewellery company take a current fashion trend and create a complimentary range of jewellery, particularly when this incorporates beads. Pandora have successfully brought forward a very contemporary and edgy feeling collection that is perfect for the more fashion conscious out there. Their new necklace concept is divine and certainly gives a rather different way in which to display your Pandora clips. I’ve always been a fan of quite dramatic jewellery and these most definitely fall into that category.
If you want to read my personal take on one of this autumn / winter’s hottest fashion trends, click here.