Break out the chains and pump up the gems: Bigger is better when it comes to next season’s jewelry trends
“What becomes a legend most?” If you’re north of a certain age, you’ll recognize the slogan, from furrier Blackglama, oft accompanied in ads by famous faces Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Diana Ross… In a season where we lost four titans of fashion—Karl Lagerfeld of Fendi and Chanel; style icons and Truman Capote swans Lee Radziwill and Marella Agnelli; and Fairchild Publications’ Patrick McCarthy—the mind repeatedly wandered to that tagline. These figures were legends because they had a singular point of view; even Lagerfeld, forever praised for his originality, knew the potency of consistency (hello, quilting and interlocking C’s). As much as fashion aches for the shock of the new and novel, there’s a savvy in embracing the familiar. And for the fall 2019 shows, many of the best collections—and trends—did just that: return to what we know, with subtle subversion. Like plaids, in unexpected colors. Great tailoring, just deconstructed or with a certain slouch. Florals, with a dark underpinning. Bourgeois chic (so much camel and beige) and ’90s grunge. Here, a look at how all this translates in the world of bijoux.
In keeping with the season’s vogue for the bourgeoisie, there were a lot of ladyfied looks: discreet gold jewelry (Celine), polite pearls (Givenchy), and pretty cameos (Dior). But what felt fresh were the oversized overtures.
So we got glamour on steroids at Moschino and Dolce & Gabbana, in proportions so exaggerated they were practically camp (paging Met Gala 2019!). Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia, no stranger to magnifying his silhouettes, served up some gloriously mammoth gems—as did Tory Burch (pictured), in lovely drop earrings flaunting massive pear-shape crystals.
Volume, in fact, was a major motif, whether in the souped-up froth at Tomo Koizumi’s delightful debut show, Comme des Garçons’ bulbous collection, or the countless sculpted and grand couture shapes seen elsewhere (including, rather alluringly, at Marc Jacobs). What felt particularly new about this in jewelry wasn’t just the oversized ornamentation itself, but that designers frequently paired it with simple daywear—for example, streamlined military coats at Burch, beautifully tailored suits at Balenciaga. The contrast charmed the eye.
Lollipop necklace with bicolor tourmaline and rhodochrosite in 14k yellow gold; $6,415; Retrouvaí; 646-745-6831; retrouvai.com
Arcobaleno necklace with 150.5 cts. t.w. ametrine and 1.6 cts. t.w. diamonds in 18k yellow gold; $45,000; Faraone Mennella; 212-752-5990; faraonemennella.com
Sky Crane black onyx ring with diamonds, rubies, and 14k gold; $1,250; Bleecker & Prince; 917-213-7105; bleeckerandprince.com
One-of-a-kind natural orange zircon and sapphire ring; price on request; Vram; 310-859-9545; vramjewelry.com
Drop earrings with amethysts, vintage artisanal Czechoslovakian crystal, and citrine in 18k gold–plated brass; $590; Iradj Moini; 212-594-9242; iradjmoini.com
Chains were the big jewelry statement of the season, sprinkled liberally across the runways from New York to Paris—but these weren’t your ordinary links. Designers playfully skewed with the classics, from Jonathan Anderson at JW Anderson, who featured clownishly oversized chain-link chokers, to Marni’s Francesco Risso, who draped his models (pictured) with links of all shapes and styles, even harness-like over the body, for a hauntingly elegant Jacob Marley look.
Over at Tod’s, there were Frankensteined necklaces spliced from variously sized links; at Rokh, single lyrical strands falling from the lobe to the waist; and at Anrealage, extra-long necklaces with a gargantuan clasp in the front, worn like a decorative pendant. Olivier Rousteing of Balmain and Christian Siriano, meanwhile, both combined their chains with the burgeoning trend for hair jewelry—the latter clipped chains into the models’ hair, while the former gave them chunky chain-link “crowns” to wear (think Woodstock hippie gone punk).
The message on the runways was clear: Be bold and dramatic.
Chain link Adwoa hoops in silver rhodium–plated brass; $395; Jennifer Fisher; 888-255-0640; jenniferfisherjewelry.com
Eka Anniversario Flex’it bracelet in 18k yellow gold with 0.19 ct. t.w. diamond rondel; $7,020; Fope; firstname.lastname@example.org; fope.com
Metal and black, burgundy, and beige leather long necklace; price on request; Chanel; 800-550-0005; chanel.com/us
Tango chain bracelet in rose gold; $44,700; Pomellato; 800-254-6020; pomellato.com
Mahogany chunky chain-link necklace with gold-tone beads; $684; Vanda Jacintho;
Stock up on silvers and golds because fall 2019 is—pardon the pun—the time to shine. There was plate work galore, coolly sleek with a touch of futurism—from the flattened, abstract earrings at Hellessy and Y/Project to the flattened, abstract chandeliers at Isabel Marant; from the demonstrative wide cuffs at Chloé and Self-Portrait to the equally impressive sharp and saucer-like versions at Maison Rabih Kayrouz, jutting out from the arm like badass weaponry.
We saw a torrent of sci-fi chokers, too—chokers, by the way, are a big thing this season. At Alexander McQueen (pictured), for instance, they proved a nice counterpoint to the collection’s sweeping dark romance. Case in point: a poufy fuchsia dress constructed to resemble a giant rosette, which was styled with a thick gunmetal choker plus pavé-covered chain-links and big teardrop crystals. (For those counting, that’s a triple trend alert.) Leave it to Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, however, to bring this trend to its theatrical extreme: His models wore threatening spiked chokers, metal plates that swept across the eye, and gold cuffs that covered—and were molded to—the ear.
Curly hair earrings in sterling silver; $200; Queenie Cao; 212-219-3793; queeniecaojewelry.com
Colette open hinge cuff with 14k gold and hematite plating and Swarovski crystals; $225; Via Saviene; 212-219-3793; viasaviene.com
Ori earring in 14k gold–plated bronze; $180; Lady Grey; 212-219-3793; ladygreyjewelry.com
Headlights collar in faceted rock crystal and hammered 18k gold; price on request; David Webb; 212-421-3030; davidwebb.com
Bauble ring in 14k white gold; $3,850; Established; 646-745-6831; establishedjewelry.com
Last November, Marc Jacobs dipped back into his oeuvre and revived his legendary grunge collection for Perry Ellis—yes, the one that famously got him pink-slipped in 1993. If this season was any indication, Kurt Cobain and crew are back, with numerous other designers, including Agnona, Junya Watanabe, and R13, glancing back to the era’s DIY subcultures.
The mood was reflected in jewelry with a madcap mixed-media mentality; there’s beauty in imperfection and an elegance in the mess. Even Donatella Versace, pied piper for lacquered perfection, channeled the undone vibe and accessorized her girls with chaotic-chic piles of chains, brooches, rhinestones, and gems.
Others played to the trend with an eye toward upcycling—best seen at Gypsy Sport (bottle-cap chandeliers), Stella McCartney (paper-clip tassels, rubber-band necklaces), and Proenza Schouler (fringe earrings made from metal bits and bobs, like clusters of lobster clasps). Of course, the look can still be gorgeously luxe—check out Prabal Gurung (pictured), whose latest collaboration with Tasaki included crazy, tangled strands of pearls.
Silver and gold–plated pearl cluster charm drop bangle; $302; Tribe by Amrapali; email@example.com; tribebyamrapali.com
Venus collage removable-pendant necklace with lapis, mother-of-pearl, agate, and turquoise; $325; Lulu Frost; 212-965-0075; lulufrost.com
Venus Pom-Pom earrings with shells and crystals; €250 ($280); Bijoux de Famille; firstname.lastname@example.org; bijouxdefamille-paris.com
Abby earrings with glass beads, resin sequin embroidery, and rhodium-plated brass hardware; $195; Mignonne Gavigan; email@example.com; mignonnegavigan.com
Mikado Flamenco Sky bracelet with London, Swiss, and sky blue topaz in 18k rose gold; $40,860; Tamara Comolli; firstname.lastname@example.org; tamaracomolli.com
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
Every year, designers respond to the various global anxieties in different ways—joyful colors one moment, overt political statements another. For fall, love was in the air. To wit: Sies Marjan’s Sander Lak said his collection was about falling in love, while Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli left literal love poems on showgoers’ seats. It was a welcome move in a season marked by loss, uncertainties (ticktock, Brexit) and the continual widening of political divides.
On the jewelry front, the interpretation is easy: heart motifs, and lots of them. We saw them at Oscar de la Renta, Escada, Rachel Comey, Chanel (pictured), and Rodarte, which featured sweet heart-print dresses as well. Over at Chloé, Natacha Ramsay-Levi closed the show with a high-slit gown featuring outlines of a couple holding hands—and abstracted gold earrings embossed with the same silhouette.
Then there were those who took the theme along a kinkier route, although you may not plastic earrings with a crystal stud up top? They’re inspired by latex and balloon fetishists.
Jumbo Love octagon signet ring in 18k yellow gold with 0.83 ct. t.w. diamonds; $5,460; Shay Fine Jewelry; 424-777-0210; shayfinejewelry.com
Lucky Goddess charms necklace with gold plating; $299; Swarovski; 800-426-3088; swarovski.com
Textured Heart Drop earrings with gemstones in 18k yellow gold; $3,400; Brent Neale; 646-745-6831; brentneale.com
Charmed ring with 3 ct. citrine, 3 ct. onyx, and 0.5 ct. t.w. pavé diamonds in 18k rose gold; $3,800; Daniella Kronfle; email@example.com; daniellakronfle.com
Earrings with cloissoné enamel and white topaz in gold-plated silver; €240 ($270); Percossi Papi; firstname.lastname@example.org; percossipapi.com
(Burch, Marni, McQueen, Chanel: Jonas Gustavsson/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP Images; Gurung: Alain Gil-Gonzalez/Abaca/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP Images)