Station necklaces: what are they, where did they come from, and how do you wear them?
Delicate, sprinkled with tiny gems or motif – the station necklace has an insouciance. It’s a relaxed style, one that doesn’t require a commitment to a look but that can be woven easily into your wardrobe.
Given its aura of relaxed luxury, it’s not surprising that the woman who created it was Italian model, designer and muse, Elsa Peretti – the woman who, through her partnership with Tiffany & Co. in the 1970s revolutionised the way women wore jewellery. Famous for her biomorphic cuffs, sensual pendants, and mesh earrings, she believed that women should be able to go out in their jewellery, arguing that “you can’t go out wearing $1 million”.
A history of station necklaces
However, Peretti still wanted to sneak some luxury into her designs so, as part of her first collection for Tiffany in 1974, she spaced out 12 tiny diamonds, set in gold bezels, at uneven lengths on a slim chain. Seeing it, her friend, and famed fashion designer, Halston, dubbed them Diamonds by the Yard and the name stuck. Despite the obvious witty elegance of this style of necklace, it fell out of favour; probably due to the lust for excess that engulfed the 1980s. However, the station necklace encountered an unusual revival in the form of a 1996 film about golf, starring Kevin Costner and Renee Russo, called Tin Cup where the film's protagonist falls in love with a woman who happens to have a style forward. Throughout the film, Russo sports a pearl station necklace, one where the nacreous beauties are strung with silk chord. The pared-back aesthetic Russo sports in the film spoke to a new generation of jewellery lovers and the station necklace was back in style.
Why are they called station necklaces?
No one has given a definitive answer to this. It could be because the gems or motifs are spread along the chain like stations on a train line, or, it could have a connection to a rosary; a religious necklace guides a supplicant’s prayer, usually during Lent. Given that Peretti was Italian, a trenchantly Catholic country, she may have been subliminally influenced by this original form of station necklace.
How to wear a station necklace
Although they look beautiful on their own, station necklaces are the stack’s best friend. The delicate chain slots in perfectly with other styles, while the tiny gems or motifs bring instant interest; little flashes that catch the eye. This means station necklaces are great if you like wearing a stack comprising similar chains. If you’re a plain chain person, then a station necklace will bring sparkle; if you like motifs with meaning choose a station style adorned with our signature Pole Star symbol inspired by the night sky. We also have silver should you want to mix metals.
Our favourite station necklace stacks for autumn
The “Back to Black”
There is no chicer combination than black and yellow gold, which this stack exploits to the max. It looks effortless and will easily take you from PowerPoint presentation to office party. Simply combine our Polaris North Star Black Spinel Station Necklace with a Polaris Black Spinel Star-Set Pendant then bring in a change of chain with Square Link Gold Chain and finally decorate the decolletage with an Ottima Black Onyx Slice Enamel Pendant or, if you’re feeling natural then our Peacock Pearl Biography Chain necklace is your go-to.
The “Chain, Chain, Chain”
The “Silver lining”
It’s a stack that sticks to this season’s coolest metal. The Polaris North Star White Necklace is the design to build this stack around. Stay with the celestial inspiration and add in a Tiny Star Choker. The Oval Pavé Disc Pendant will bring in some length, while the Pearl Biography Chain will add some lustre.