Trend Watch: Spike Glee

As far back as September 2007, I wrote about the glimmerings of a new trend in jewelry design, commenting on “how actively aggressive much of the jewelry appears. Sharp points, straight edges and studded metal are designs not for the faint of heart.” In April 2009, I reported that Elle magazine was inexplicably showing a spiked bracelet as an example of professional office wear. In the fall of 2009, the trend was out in force, as I noted in my posting “Not Just for Halloween.”

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Illustration: Spiked bracelets by Ralph Lauren Vintage and Eddie Borgo

Along the way, spikes have found their way onto handbags, headbands and shoes as well as jewelry. The December 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar features a cuff with three rows of spikes by Ralph Lauren Vintage (clearly casting against type, if you pardon the pun). The January 2010 issue of that magazine features an Eddie Borgo cuff with spike-shaped crystals; the February issue pictures metal bracelets with a similar vibe by Noir. The January 2010 issues of both Marie Claire and Elle magazine couldn’t resist the spike-back shoes by Topshop for Louise Goldin (indeed, it’s the very same photo, flipped). Marie Claire adds a second pair of shoes where the spikes appear at the toe rather than the heel.

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Illustration: Spiked shoes by Louise Goldin as seen in both Elle and Marie Claire

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The January 11, 2010 issue of People magazine devotes three-quarters of a page to spikes. They quote stylist Laura Lightbody, who dressed Fergie in a MarcoMarco spiked-shoulder dress, pictured in the article, as urging caution in the wearing of spikes for practical reasons: “They can get attached to sweaters; they rip things.” She also notes that spikes are “great for performances or the ‘wow’ factor, but not for daywear.”

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Illustration: The trend continues, unabated, as seen in the Stephen Webster necklace worn by Christina Aguilera in the February 2010 issue of Marie Claire. The circle necklace is by Robert Lee Morris. 

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Illustration: Adam Lambert at the 2009 American Music Awards 

Spikes made a significant showing at the American Music Awards in November 2009, with Adam Lambert and Rihanna sporting spikes on the shoulders of their garments to make their cutting-edge style statements.

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Illustration: Rihanna at the 2009 American Music Awards

The People’s Choice Awards show in January 2010, which includes musicians in the mix, was much less of a wow factor event; relatively conservative tried and true little black dresses matched with diamond earrings and bracelets predominated. I did not spot any spikes in the mix.

Now the awards season is in full swing. The Golden Globes, held last Sunday, is the first of the major red carpet events of the year, and again, spikes were absent. Not surprisingly, they don’t seem to rate as people pleasers for mainstream celebrities’ fans; they certainly don’t inspire warm and fuzzy thoughts.

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Should you think that this trend has spiked and is now receding, however, get ready for a new onslaught this summer. A preview movie still released from “Sex and the City 2″ show Kim Cattrall (Samantha Jones) singing karaoke with her gal pals and wearing a spike-shouldered red dress. The movie will be released on May 28. Is a new spate of spikes bound to follow?

Perhaps only a spike through the heart will ultimately kill this fashion trend.