New York Fashion Week: 5 Runway Shows With Great Jewelry

New York Fashion Week ended Wednesday with a bang—in the form of an electric Marc Jacobs show featuring a mix of models and dancers choreographed brilliantly by New York City dance legend Karole Armitage (you can watch the entire show here).

The event offered a rare opportunity for escapism in a season where fashion is grappling with its place in the world. The collective hand-wringing is mainly due to the negative impacts of apparel manufacturing on the environment, which have been brought to light this past year by several top fashion journalists, including Dana Thomas, who wrote a book on the subject. 

For the conscientious consumer, “reusing and repurposing” has transitioned from something that’s “good to do” to something that’s necessary. Where does that leave fashion—an industry defined by the creation, marketing, and retailing of ever-new styles?

The jewelry industry has its own challenges with transitioning to a more sustainable model, of course. But adapting to a “reuse” cycle is slightly easier because jewelry materials are transmutable. Metals can be melted down. Stones can be repurposed.

Anxieties aside, high-end American fashion designers did a beautiful job of presenting collections that felt filled with intention and fun—and don’t we all need some fun right now? A few brands even staged runway shows that eschewed the traditional slender-models-on-parade display. There was Marc Jacobs’ extravaganza, which included women of varying age and sizes, as well as size-and-gender-inclusive brand Chromat’s display of high-energy fitness, among others.

Jewelry played a major role in several collections, with ear jewelry among the most memorable and provocative pieces. Here are 5 presentations that used jewelry especially well:

Christian Siriano
Siriano served up punky and piled-up white metal chain-and-leather necklaces to complement his alternately super-structural and liquid-slinky gowns.

Image via: @cocorocha_russia

Prabal Gurung
Gurung, who showed amazing earrings last season, kept the jewelry mojo going this time out with linear pearl earrings blown up to full ear pieces. The stunning pieces were a bold complement to a brave collection—filled of power suiting and body-conscious dresses.

Image via: @girlobsessedwithfashion

Image via: @bevels_mx

Rodarte, ever a fan of fanciful jewels, also showed pearls. The arty Los Angeles brand accessorized models clad in kitschy 1950s- and goth-inspired dresses with long, swinging mixed-material earrings, often including pearls (faux or otherwise).

Image via: @rodarte

Image via: @rodarte

Marc Jacobs
There’s no doubt that Marc Jacobs loves a mid-century jewel. Remember the glam grandma jewelry from this 2017 show? For fall 2020, his team styled models including Bella and Gigi Hadid in short, fringe-y rhinestone necklaces and drop earrings. The pieces complemented Jacobs’ streamlined 1960s silhouettes perfectly.

Image via: @marcjacobs

Image via: @klassnoir

Brandon Maxwell
Earrings featuring tortoiseshell-colored linked rectangles and huge emerald-cut “gems” bordered by pavé (crystals?) were among the panoply of thrilling jewelry at the Brandon Maxwell show. Like Gurung, the designer is a master of using jewelry to augment his visual narratives.

Image via: @brandonmaxwell

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FALL WINTER 2020 backstage by @coreytenold

A post shared by Brandon Maxwell (@brandonmaxwell) on

Image via: @brandonmaxwell

Top: Gigi and Bella Hadid at the Marc Jacobs show (image via: @marcjacobs)

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JCK Magazine Editor