In design there are patterns that are considered classic: stripes, plaids, polka dots, leopard prints and for accessories, tortoise shell. Apparently tortoise shell used to be made out of well… real tortoise (and turtle) shell! Umm thank god we’ve moved out of the dark ages and tortoise shell now is just a pattern made in resin, instead of crafted from the harvested shells of baby amphibians. I would not be comfortable wearing Leonardo or Raphael’s shell as a bracelet. But now that tortoise shell can be manufactured without slaughtering cute wrinkly animals, it is everywhere. Next to black, tortoise shell is the most common choice for glasses and sunglasses, but I want to take that one step further and explore the other tortoise shell accessories out there, not excluding glasses and sunglasses.
When I think of tortoise shell I think retro, I think of the 90s, and I think equestrian. All of these accessories fit into one of those categories and yet they are perfectly modern enough for 2013 (and ’14 which is creeping up on us). What this really means is that if you buy something in tortoise shell you’ll be able to wear it for a very long time. This pattern, like all classic patterns, is timeless.
Drool worthy pieces: