NYFW 2019: The Best Jewelry So Far

Instagram may be the big influencer when it comes to what fashion consumers are buying and wearing these days. But New York Fashion Week—and the images from it that ping around the social-sphere—will always impact the fashion tides as long as major designers and brands use it as a marketing platform and product launchpad.

Which is why savvy jewelry designers, retailers, and buyers keep an eye on runway jewelry and how it’s styled (to better train their associates in modern ways to layer and wear jewelry).

Spring 2020 New York Fashion Week—which kicked off Sept. 6 and will wrap up Sept. 11—has already served up some pretty fantastic jewelry looks, worn in creative and new-feeling ways. Here are the standout shows so far.

Prabal Gurung
Stunning is a word we try not use lightly. But it certainly applies to the jewelry at the Prabal Gurung’s spring 2020 show. The designer used the ear to anchor small gemstone-and-pearl works of art that radiated classic haute joaillerie vibes. Classic influences were evident, but Gurung didn’t stick to a single era, which made the parade of elaborate jeweled ear pieces and hefty, swinging earrings all the more exciting.

Prabal Gurung spring 2020 earring pearls
 Image via: @fashionpage_couture
Prabal Gurung earrings spring 2020
Image via: popstar_nails72

Brandon Maxwell
Chains thick enough to tow a truck, multicolored gemstone chandelier earrings, and emerald-cut cocktail rings the size of matchbooks were among the many memorable baubles at the Brandon Maxwell show. The pieces were beautiful on their own, but the jewelry styling stole the show. Example: Classic demin-on-denim ensembles—composed of apparel separates worn by so many modern women—were spiced up with loads of colored stone pieces (real? faux? No matter) and chain necklaces dripping with interesting gemstone pendants. It’s tough to make so much jewelry worn together look wearable and even casual. But Maxwell pulled it off.

Brandon Maxwell Spring 2020 jewelry 3
 Image via: @brandonmaxwell
Brandon Maxwell Spring 2020 jewelry 2
Image via: @brandonmaxwell
Brandon Maxwell spring 2020 jewelry closeup
A closeup of the oversized green cocktail rings from the above far right look (photo courtesy of Brandon Maxwell)

Pyer Moss
Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond and jewelry designer Johnny Nelson collaborated on custom buttons depicting famous black Americans for the Met Gala (designs Nelson pioneered for his own collection). And the two designers took it a step further for Pyer Moss’s spring 2020 runway show. Nelson created a collection of jewels that honor iconic and culturally influential black women in music that included custom portrait necklaces, earrings, and hair beads. The pieces featured 21 icons: Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Tina Turner, Nina Simone, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, Da Brat, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Aaliyah, Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah, Rihanna, Lil’ Kim, Janelle Monáe, Solange, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Most memorable: The tiered face necklace, shown below, which Jean-Raymond layered on top of flowing nighttime ensembles.

Pyer Moss Johnny Nelson necklace
Pyer Moss necklace by jewelry designer Johnny Nelson (photo courtesy of Johnny Nelson)
Pyer Moss spring 2020
Image via: @lifeandloved
Pyer Moss Johnny Nelson hair beads
Pyer Moss/Johnny Nelson hair beads (photo courtesy of Johnny Nelson)

Ulla Johnson
Designer Ulla Johnson, a firm favorite with fashion editors and top influencers, tapped U.K. jewelry designer Grainne Morton and a collective of artisans based in Kenya—among other jewelry-makers—to create the dynamic, bohemian-feeling jewelry for her spring 2020 show. The blown-glass earrings (show below) are especially exquisite.

Ulla Johnson Grainne Morton spring 2020
Grainne Morton for Ulla Johnson necklace (image via: @ullajohnson)
Ulla Johnson spring 2020 earrings
Ulla Johnson recycled blown-glass earrings made in partnership with a group of artisans working in Kenya (image via: @ullajohnson)

Top: A radiant ear piece at the Prabal Gurung show (image via: @modalaland)

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JCK Magazine Editor