Tuesday 21 February 2017

Fashion: Charmed Life - the allure of Pandora

Constance Harris

Published 07/12/2015 | 02:30

Cardigan, €898, Gertrude Sampson, Marion Cuddy Irish Designers Emporium. Earrings, €59; necklace, €29; charm, €69. Model’s right hand: Stacking rings, from €39 each; bangle, €69; bangle, €59; charms, from €39 each; bangle, €59. Model’s left hand: clasp bracelet, €75; bracelet, €59; charms, from €35; bracelet, €59; charms, from €35; bangle, €69; stacking rings, from €39 each, all Pandora.
Cardigan, €898, Gertrude Sampson, Marion Cuddy Irish Designers Emporium. Earrings, €59; necklace, €29; charm, €69. Model’s right hand: Stacking rings, from €39 each; bangle, €69; bangle, €59; charms, from €39 each; bangle, €59. Model’s left hand: clasp bracelet, €75; bracelet, €59; charms, from €35; bracelet, €59; charms, from €35; bangle, €69; stacking rings, from €39 each, all Pandora.

Charms have been around since the beginning of time. Men and women have always loved to record events in their lives with miniature symbols, with which they adorn themselves.

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Recently, I met an older lady wearing a charm bracelet. I asked her to tell me the stories of her charms, which she proudly did, and positively glowed when we got to the miniature airplane, which she bought the day her son got his 'wings' (pilot's license).

Being such a household name, I couldn't get over the fact that Danish charm specialist Pandora was such a young firm; it was founded in 1982 by goldsmith Per Enevoldsen and his wife, Winnie, and they began to focus on charms only in 2000. Today, Pandora is an emporium to memories, new and old. Inspired by everything, from love, angels and astrology to the Christmas season -whatever your theme, you will find a charm for it.

I have several friends who are total Pandora 'junkies' and are constantly collecting charms. I have to admit I didn't get the charm (excuse the pun) until I visited Pandora's new flagship store near Brown Thomas.

Enthusiastically guided around the store by the manager, Yasmin, I was shown charms as diverse as minuscule Christmas trees, parcels and snowmen, as well as divine Murano glass and Swarovski-encrusted beads. I learned that everything in Pandora can be adjusted and adapted, from necklace lengths to bracelet styles.

As it is Christmas, and there may be a Pandora addict in your household, it is good to know that, at this time of year, they do a lot of special-offer gift sets, such as the Christmas Snowflake bracelet, which normally would retail at €174, but right now is €129. It will be beautifully wrapped to Hollywood-Christmas-gift standards to make the gift that bit extra-special.

Moving with the times, Pandora don't just do silver. There are leather bracelets, rose gold and 14-carat gold for the more high-maintenance (that could be me!).

Inspired by Spectre-fever, and love of James Bond, we decided to create our own Bond-woman model, Christie Leigh, to best show off Pandora's charms, using this season's hottest trend - faux fur.

Great faux-fur pieces can be found everywhere. Dunnes Stores have sumptuous faux-fur jackets, especially in Savida, which has a gorgeous bottle-green style. Warehouse at BT2 has cool rock-chick jackets, while Irish online store dresses.ie is doing boho gilets.

Note well - one of my friends made the ghastly mistake of trying to clean her Pandora charm bracelet herself, and accidentally striped it of Pandora's special finish. So it is worth knowing that all Pandora stores will clean your Pandora jewellery, free of charge, restoring it to its newly bought glory.

Happy days.

Photography by  Lee Malone

Styling by   Courtney Smith

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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