Big, Bold Earrings Stole the Shows: A Report From Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week

The runway shows at Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week wind down today, with Marc Jacobs (always the final show) set to blow minds, sartorially speaking, at 6 p.m. 

I was lucky enough to attend a slew of shows this season and was thrilled to witness the panoply of woman-friendly fashion trends that emerged—wide-leg pants, flat sandals, and midi-length skirts were everywhere.

But the forecast for jewelry this coming season was crystal clear: Earrings are officially back as a focal point in innovative styling, both on and off the runway. And they’re bigger and bolder than ever.

Influential designers Alexander Wang, Tory Burch, Peter Copping at Oscar de la Renta, and Jeremy Scott led the charge, accessorizing their looks with oversize, shoulder-grazing earrings, many featuring considerable volume.

Oscar de la Renta’s Old World Spain–inspired collection of intricate gowns and eveningwear—punctuated by flouncy black bow ties—was made even more feminine with a lineup of major earrings, including fringe-and-silver looks, classic gem-studded chandelier styles, and what appeared to be wrapped-silk teardrop shapes that might have been inspired by historic Spanish design motifs.

Courtesy Yannis Vlamos/

The fringe effect at Peter Copping’s Oscar de la Renta

Courtesy Yannis Vlamos/

Silk hoops at Oscar de la Renta

Wang, fashion’s perennial wunderkind, who celebrated a decade in business this season, went the other way—showcasing bits of chunky oxidized chains as earrings, paired with equally bold lock-and-chain necklaces. The toughie jewelry was a throwback to ’90s hip-hop, with a little Marc Jacobs–style grunge in the mix.

More nuanced (and miles more marketable) were the beautifully sculptural drop earrings seen at Tory Burch, which included earthy dream-catcher styles and a hook-through look that ended in fluted shapes both behind and in front of the ear.

Courtesy Yannis Vlamos/

Alexander Wang’s tough-girl chains


Tory Burch’s resort-ready metal danglers

But it was a handful of smaller designers—notably Rosie Assoulin, Naeem Khan, and Mara Hoffman—who offered up this season’s most innovative lobe looks.

Assoulin, who’s a current fashion insider’s favorite, created a collection of statement-making white and colored earrings (enamel or plastic, we’re not sure—the brand didn’t respond to request for comment) shaped into huge organic forms that affected tiny, ethereal solar systems. They were positively otherworldly and different from anything we’ve ever seen.

Hoffman, another go-to designer for fashion editors, tapped the perfect jewelry designer, Pamela Love, to create Southwest-inspired silver pieces for her Willie Nelson–inspired show, which featured models in long double braids and bandannas in homage to the country music legend.

Chokers with pendants and bolo tie fasteners depicting steer heads were paired with stackable bangles and swingy, Native American–inspired silver earrings.

Courtesy Rosie Assoulin

Rosie Assoulin’s beautifully splayed ear candy


Pamela Love’s Southwest silver at Mara Hoffman’s show

Courtesy Gianni Pucci/

The big earring moment: multicolored hoops at Naeem Khan

But nowhere were earrings more vibrant than at the Naeem Khan show. Models were clad in intricately embroidered Mediterranean-like garb punctuated with drop-hoop earrings that were positively stuffed with multicolored stones and beads, fabric poms, and bright fringing.

The ear candy was a celebration of artisanship—and an acutely persuasive argument for going big and bold come spring.

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JCK Magazine Editor