Whether the world of designer fashion—and the jewelry it puts forth—really moves the needle when it comes to jewelry trends and design directions is an evergreen question for many in the industry.
After all, we live in the age of YouTube superstars and social media campaigns. It would be reasonable to wonder if the influence of runway fashion is waning.
And there’s no doubt that street fashion—as captured on social media—is an incubator for emerging design. Trends are launched and percolate on social media almost daily. The craze for single earrings and “ear parties” really began on social, to cite just one example of that bubbling up process.
But fashion’s top brands, whose social media followings number in the multimillions, do provide a kind of style guidance for fashion watchers and wearers. They identify and give shape to all those style notions pinging around Instagram.
Through consumption of hundreds of runway and advertising images released each season, those paying attention are nudged into coopting iterations of designs that are familiar enough not to be scary, but foreign enough to hold some excitement. Hence, a simple round hoop earring gets bent into a Calderesque face. A gold curb-link chain elongates and incorporates Lucite.
Which is why, as a jewelry retailer, it’s important to keep an eye (even if it’s a sleepy one) on what’s happening in high fashion, particularly on the jewelry front.
That said, there were several jewelry highlights at last week’s spring 2018 couture shows in Paris. Here are three that have the potential to trickle down and become (or alter) big trends—if not this season, then in seasons to come.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s ’60s Moment
The bold geometry and colors of 1960s op art (and the specter of space-loving 1960s designer Pierre Cardin) informed the jewelry at Jean Paul Gaultier. Hence, earrings were almost comically oversized and popping underneath arty topknots in white and primary colors. This was a super-sizing of the plastic/Lucite/acrylic jewelry trend that’s already underway—witness the popularity of Rachel Comey’s acrylic hoops.
Elie Saab’s Sparkle Parade
From the glittering, form-fitting gowns to the exquisite clutch purses a few models gripped, there was hardly anything that wasn’t bejeweled at the Elie Saab show—expect the giant bows that wrapped several models’ dainty necks. The jewelry itself was glamour personified, in the form of gem-studded drop earrings and fabulously complicated sautoirs. Even around-the-neck eyeglass chains were gleaming.
Givenchy’s Elegant Severity
Givenchy designer Clare Waight Keller didn’t use a lot of jewelry in her collection of coolly austere gowns. But the embellishments she did use—shoulder-grazing, fringed-gold earrings worn as both a single and a set and a pair of oxidized silver hammered cuffs—were impactful. Hammered-patina jewelry is an emerging trend that could end up being huge this year. And fringe clearly isn’t going anywhere.
(Top image: A look from Elie Saab; image: @eliesaabworld)