It was a big year for jewelry in high fashion. Jewels not only added requisite shine and polish to designers’ collections in 2018—they were often the elements that attracted the most attention and lingered most prominently in our mental recaps of runway shows.
Marc Jacobs’ oversize beaded rosette chokers, Givenchy’s Calder-esque silver flake mobile earrings, Rodarte’s Art Deco sunburst armbands and hair ornaments: Runway jewelry didn’t just embellish this year—it entertained, inspired, and even enthralled.
And that’s good news for the larger jewelry industry. While runway presentations and the collections they present certainly are no longer the main bellwether for trends in jewelry (Instagram arguably wields more influence), top-tier fashion brands still exert considerable sway.
Why? The world’s top designers outfit the world’s top social influencers. A quick glance over our shoulders at the mega-presence and success of Gucci on social media in 2018 is evidence of this. Style is a circular food chain, and name-brand fashion houses are still a notch on that chain.
Here’s a look back at some of the collections that used jewelry boldly and/or pushed jewelry design or styling forward in 2018.
Givenchy Spring 2019
Showcased throughout Givenchy’s Spring 2019 presentation was an extraordinary series of earrings that used mobile-like construction to suspend arcs, lines, and other forms, all dripping with tinsel-like tiny silver pieces. When models walked, the silver bits splayed out around faces and drizzled down shoulders, creating striking mini waterfalls and gleaming juts that often descended to mismatched lengths.
Rodarte Spring 2019
Rodarte returned to New York Fashion Week after several seasons in Paris for the spring 2019 shows with a cotton-candy-cum-ethereal collection accessorized with metal body pieces and jewelry that channeled the bold spirit of Art Deco design, sunbursts included. The extraordinary metalworks were made by jeweler and metalworker Maggie Schpak, owner and operator of the Studio Art Metal Shop in Glendale, Calif., which has been responsible for some major metal moments in film and TV, including the armor in the Star Trek feature films.
Oscar de la Renta Spring 2019
For spring 2019, Oscar de la Renta showed elegant-but-easy clothes that took inspiration from the Silk Road (think luxe caftans and djellabas). Adding age-old shine to the mix was jewelry by Philadephia-based jeweler and sculptor designer Stacey Lee Webber that underscored the collection’s multicultural feel: bold necklaces and earrings anchored by creatively cut-out vermeil coins accented by pearls, red coral, and simple leather cord. The pieces felt absolutely fresh, but also like treasures plucked from a trove of antiquities.
Tom Ford Fall 2019
Big and blingy earrings—hoops and major drops—helped bring Tom Ford’s ‘60s/Edie Sedgwick vibe to life at his fall 2018 show in New York.
Marc Jacobs accessorized his spring 2019 collection with jewelry that recalled—but also cleverly subverted—mid-century ladies-who-lunch baubles and accessories. Beaded chokers appeared to be a play on the jaunty neck scarves women wore in the ‘50s and ‘60s (supersized versions of which models also wore in the show), while ladylike pearls were blown up to bubblegum-bubble proportions and paired with fabulous-grandma sparkle on the ears.
Top: From the Rodarte Spring 2019 show (all photos courtesy of brands listed)
Follow me on Instagram: @emilivesilind