Either Ore: Memorable Mixed Metals

With the price of precious metals still at near-record highs (although moving lower) and the love of jewelry as strong as ever, it’s no surprise that many designers, retailers, and customers are including less-expensive materials in their jewelry mix. The fashion press is following this trend, of course, and there are useful observations as well as delightful visual effects to be gleaned.

Focusing on resort, the December 2011 issue of Elle pictures a sporty tank-style dress, leather visor and bag from Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci worn with a very girly sterling silver and yellow gold mixed metal bracelet from TOUS.

On the cover of the January 2012 issue of InStyle, in a Donna Karan Casual Luxe sweater coat, actress Jennifer Garner wears a mixed metal Cartier Trinity bracelet (and ring, obscured) along with white metal bracelet from David Webb and her own white metal wristwatch, plus a yellow gold David Webb ring along with her own wedding band. One criticism: While the effect is that of jewelry casually thrown on with a comfy sweater, wearing a watch that bangs into bracelets on the same wrist is not an approach any jeweler would recommend.

The November 2011 issue of InStyle features “Light and Dark” jewelry: “This season, designers are mixing dusky materials–including black diamonds, oxidized silver and onyx–with yellow gold for an effect that’s equal parts polished and powerful,” writes Marion Fasel. Featured jewels are an oxidized silver necklace with 18k gold from Ray Griffiths Fine Jewelry; an Elena Votsi black diamond and 18k gold ring; a diamond, onyx, and 18k gold bracelet from Chanel Fine Jewelry; Whitby jet wood earrings with 18k gold; and David Yurman blackened sterling silver and 18k gold earrings.

A current ad for Georg Jensen features bracelets and rings in single and multiple hues worn together.

Mixed metals are featured in this co-branded ad from Gurhan and Neiman Marcus.

Actress Diane Keaton wears a ring of mixed metals in this current advertisement for L’Oréal Paris.

In addition to jewelry that itself incorporates multiple colors of metal, fashion stylings mix and match jewelry of different metals and hues.

In the fashion spread “Hello, Moto! Fashion is having its most badass moment in years,” in the January 2012 issue of Glamour, the model pictured above sports mixed metal jewelry along with her biker jacket, chunky motorcycle boots and a sparkly silver skirt, all from Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere. She wears a white gold and leather necklace as well as a yellow gold and leather bracelet from the same designer, and adds a sterling silver ID bracelet from Ann Dexter-Jones to create a silver-and-gold look on one wrist. Yellow gold adds an unexpected shot of color.

In the October 2011 issue of InStyle, singer Katy Perry wears Ben-Amun gunmetal-and-silver-plated earrings and an Oscar de la Renta gunmetal bracelet on one wrist, but mixes things up with a gold-plated bracelet from Oscar de la Renta on the other wrist. She wears Louis Vuitton with a Kiki de Montparnasse collar and a Dolce & Gabbana bustier.

In a fashion Q&A in the September 2011 issue of InStyle, a reader asks, “I want to spice up my everyday jewelry. What can I add to the mix?” InStyle responds: “Check out sculptural metal options in new colors such as aqua, pewter, and rose, and don’t be afraid to mix them with your regular silver and gold pieces.” Featured jewelry consists of a rose-gold-plated necklace from Tuleste Market, an aqua powder-coated metal cuff from Alexis Bittar, and a pewter-hued metal bangle from Bauble Bar.

Although I don’t usually include photos of home decor in my jewelry-focused blog, here’s a styling that not only is wonderfully festive for the holiday season, but also inspires with the balance of mixed metals. The advice included in the December 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping for decor could easily apply to adornment with jewelry: “Shine your way through the season with holiday decor that shows off the allure of silver, gold, and other merry metallics.”