On Hand: The Surprise of Hand Bracelets

From time to time, jewelry styles outside of the mainstream are featured in the fashion press. Style outliers tend to receive attention, as anyone familiar with Lady Gaga can attest. Recently there has been a spate of designs in which a bracelet is attached to a ring with decorative chains or other elements worn over the top of the hand. Surprisingly, these designs are not appearing in fashion publications targeted specifically to a younger demographic; they are appearing in Vogue and Marie Claire. This design may be a manifestation of tough girl punk and rock looks that I will discuss at more length in an upcoming post.

There are multiple descriptive names for this style. Popularly they are known as “hand bracelets” although you can find instances where designers refer to them as “slave bracelets” or “gypsy finger rings” despite (or perhaps because of) the politically incorrect edginess of those names.  

This complex styling from the April 2011 issue of Marie Claire in a fashion spread on western wear-inspired denim and rawhide prominently features a hand bracelet with a hammered texture from LowLuv by Erin Wasson mixed in with more traditional southwest styles: a cuff, necklaces and pendant from Vicki Turbeville and a necklace and unusual ring from Bottega Veneta. The model wears a pair of  jackets from Jerome Dreyfuss and DKNY Jeans, a bra from Roberto Cavalli and a skirt from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi.

In a feature on dressing in wedding finery, the April 2011 issue of Vogue features an Oscar de la Renta dress worn with a hat from Early Halloween and an assortment of jewelry, including an eye-catching hand bracelet, all of which is simply described as the model’s own. The styling reflects a steampunk influence.

In a feature on postmodern punk style in the March 2011 issue of Marie Claire, the model wears a hand bracelet from Jennifer Fisher Jewelry. On the same arm and hand the model wears what is described as a small gold safety-pin bracelet from Aurelie Bidermann, two large safety-pin bracelets from Sydney Evan, a diamond stacked ring from Simon G. Jewelry, a multi-finger ring from Noelle Leone and a gold spike ring from Nicky Hilton. On her left arm and hand she wears a black cord and diamond bracelet from Tous, a diamond link bracelet from Shery Shabani, and another ring from Nicky Hilton. Around her neck she wears a short safety-pin necklace from Aurelie Bidermann, two wing necklaces from Anita Ko, and a gold chain from Jennifer Fisher Jewelry. The model also wears a jacket from Versace, cardigan from Versus, bra from Only Hearts by Helena Stuart, skirt by Elise Overland New York and shoes by Christian Louboutin.

As the photos above show, fashion editors are finding a surprising range of style opportunities for hand bracelets. It’s up to you to decide if you want to give them a hand.