For the love of beads Fashion

For the love of beads

Do we follow fashion or does fashion follow us?

I’ve never thought of myself as a trend-setter, or indeed a follower, I simply wear what makes me happy. It changes every day, according to my moods, what’s in my diary, and of course the season and weather.


There’s pretty much one constant though, and that’s necklaces– the more the merrier. Ever the bead-a-holic, I can’t resist them. I’ve bought necklaces and beads in markets all over the world, from artisan workshops, from beach stalls and junk shops. I’m so lucky in all my travels, they inspire me to experiment with colour, pattern and material. I buy more necklaces than I make, and own more than I can possibly wear, although I never go a day without one. It’s mad, but I actually feel sorry for a necklace hanging unworn for months and press myself to give it an outing. How daft is that?


Beads jolly up the plainest of outfits and add an original style to any look. I like finding unusual designs, just look at this delightful example by Swiss designer Fabienne Morel

Fabienne teaches primary school arts and crafts in Switzerland, pretty much the perfect job to me, but she also finds time to explore her passion for three things – beading, dancing and textiles by developing imaginative stories in beading which then translate in to colourful prints for silk scarves and gorgeous jewellery like this one



A long line beaded necklace is a great substitute for a skinny scarf, this one can be knotted or worn loose so they are really versatile too. Make a bold statement with a zingy orange number, so good against navy, black or white to add a pop of colour, or clash it with other citrus shades like yellow or lime in summer for a real splash of colour.


For a more muted palette add this one in soft greys and sky blues, an elegant touch that can be worn night or day.

These are hand made to order or sold through galleries, so you know you are unlikely to bump into to anyone wearing anything similar. I love finding things at art fairs and galleries, and often on our travels.  It’s a great way to support artists and find something eye-catching and original too.


The high street is also my friend when it comes to my magpie like acquisition of all things colourful, and these tassel earrings from Accessorize are absolutely irresistible. The colours are so rich, they make me think of Morocco or India, and at this price I can’t choose which to have, I think I would probably get both and wear one of each but even if you are cautious with colour, these swinging from your ears will just add that splash of élan to your outfit and will certainly bring a smile to your face.


‘Beads really do brighten any outfit’
- Prue Leith