Meet the Legos of Fine Jewelry, AKA the Cleverest Thing We've Seen in a While

Earrings that become necklaces, and other earrings that become *mega* earrings.

Nose, Ear, Lip, Cheek, Eye, Hairstyle, Skin, Chin, Forehead, Eyelash,
(Image credit: Courtesy, design by Betsy Farrell)

Like the Power Rangers or, you know, America in times of trouble, we're stronger together. This too holds true for jewelry, for which we are now in the Age d'Or of a-ring-stack-on-each-finger, seven-hoops-in-your-ear maximalism. Grand! But unlike self-appointed layering and mixing, pieces that come with the express intention of transformation usually aren't that great. In fact, they might actually be more limiting than their regular brethren, in that they come with prescribed ways to wear. And that's it.

But with the new fine-jewelry range Tara, the limit finally, actually does not exist. Using a clever system of clasps and openwork, designer Annette Lasala has made it possible to take a stud earring, then add on a network of dangling, geometric bits and bobs until you've got a Calder mobile swinging from your lobe. Or your neck, once you hook the whole contraption onto a choker or chain.

Each earring-cum-pendant-cum-whatever-you-want-it-to-be is hand-crafted in the Philippines by women artisans as part of the brand's social-good program. And everything is tested to make sure your magnum opus doesn't come apart at the seams. Both these initiatives go toward Tara's dedication to creating modern heirlooms, amassed over time, that last, instead of being tossed away the very next season. (That they're made with opals, gray and black diamonds, and 14-karat gold doesn't hurt either.)

As Tara launches its 2017 collection, Lasala said she's also taking new designs out for a test drive and exploring retail concepts (how fun would it be to play with these in a brick-and-mortar store, hmm?). It might be too soon to call it for a brand this young, but if innovation and seriously exciting product are the building blocks for a successful business, they're more than in a good place.

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Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.