One element unites all the aspects of Fashioning Winter: that of the pearl. Whether it is the opaque pearlescence of the skating rink, the use of strings of pearls to bring lustre and light to winter garments, or hidden as a metaphor, the pearl or its influence lurks somewhere in each of the displays.
It is the supreme winter jewel. Swathed in layer upon layer of light refracting nacre, it seems to absorb light and glow from within. Over time it has been used in myth and metaphor to embody purity, preciousness and wisdom. Pearls have been used as talismans, currency, images of potency and visions of hope in the darkest despair.
This introduces a series of posts on this theme – the pearl in myth, metaphor, iconography, fashion, history, romance and literature – one for each of the 12 days of Christmas.