Fashion & Beauty

Embracing the Evil Eye

March 12, 2019


WHO DOESN’T need a little luck—or at least some protection from bad things befalling you? When I visited Greece for the first time and bought one of those ubiquitous beaded bracelets with cobalt-blue “evil” eyes, I learned I was warding off malevolent forces. My grandparents didn’t have any beads or symbols, but long before I ever went to Athens, I knew that saying “keinahora” (kein in German means “no,” ayin ha-rah in Hebrew means the evil eye) was supposed to dispel any harm intended from malicious spirits. Kind of like a “knock wood.”

The evil eye spans cultures and generations and dates back thousands of years. It’s the belief that a look or stare, especially one prompted by envy, can bring misfortune to those on the receiving end. However, wearing or displaying an evil eye charm/pendant can help counteract that curse. Bragging about success or getting too much recognition can also lead to evil eye-based adversity. The symbol is particularly popular in Mediterranean countries. (LittleBird Nancy brought one back to me from her trip to Turkey a few years ago. I keep it on my desk.)

Facebook and Instagram make it easy to envy what we don’t have. Fashion designers, including Tory Burch, Kenzo and Alice + Olivia, have taken note and incorporated the ancient image in their jewelry and clothing.

LEFT: Chan Luu’s Black Mix Evil Eye Charm Short Necklace (approximately 15-17 inches long) sits comfortably around the collar bone. The18K gold-plated sterling silver chain suspends black agate, black spinel and black horn stones and charms. Be cool and layer it with a longer necklace. $225, ChanluuRIGHT: Summer is not exactly around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be ready for its arrival. This Elexis Fringed Clutch Bag is hand-crocheted by local women in Turkey, where the evil eye is a signature charm.  Here, the motif gets playful treatment with cobalt, blue and white tassels. Perfect for future beach days. $225, Matches Fashion



LEFT: You can’t be too careful about how the day enfolds. Take precautions and pour your morning brew into this bone china Evil Eye Mug, $31, Amara. RIGHT: Adorn your wrist with this hand-painted enamel Evil Eye on Navy Motif Bangle with gold-plated rims. Wear it by itself or stack it with other cuffs and bangles. It’s available in small (2 1/2 inch diameter) and medium (2 3/4 inch diameter) for $150, Scully and Scully.



LEFT: Perhaps Tory Burch was feeling the envious looks of her competitors and decided to cover her bases with this embossed evil eye on the back of her cheery, spring forward-looking Grier Leather Watch, $225, Shopbop. CENTER: Kenzo’s interpretation of the evil eye on this pink sweatshirt may not convey the seriousness of the symbol, but it’s darn cute anyway. $359, Farfetch. RIGHT: Activate the magical effects of the symbol with Evil Eye & Pearl Drop Earrings, again from Tory Burch. $138, Nordstrom


LEFT: Hand beaded in India, this set of four Evil Eye Coasters is $68, from Amara.  Consider them a conversation starter. RIGHT: In your home, protect your interiors from envious stares with a Coral & Tusk Evil Eye Embroidered Decorative Pillow (7-by-7 inches). $50, Bloomingdale’s


LEFT: Hold onto Alice + Olivia’s Large Shirley Evil Eye Clutch with glass beads and amethyst closure, or swing it nonchalantly by a chain from your shoulder. Evil spirits, begone. $495, Saks Fifth Avenue. RIGHT: This Slim Slide Evil Eye Crystal Clutch from Judith Leiber Couture will set you back rent or mortgage money. To be exact, $3,195 at Saks Fifth Avenue. Consider it protective. It doesn’t ship until April 17, so no rush deciding.

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