Sustainability, bold gold and punky pearls: jewellery trends for 2019
Jewellery trends, like those of clothing, are often cyclical. There is always the odd example of a one-hit wonder that we pray never returns – Victorian jewellery woven from human hair, for example. But styles like the hoop earring, the chunky gold chain and the cocktail ring will always return.
But before I delve into what style of earring is going to be huge for 2019, there’s another area that must be addressed – sustainability.
As consumers become increasingly conscious of the what, why and how of the things they buy, transparency is fast becoming less of an add-on, and more of a requirement. For a start, consumers increasingly want to know that the gold in their jewellery is clean.
Chopard 18ct Fairmined rose gold and diamond Ice Cube ring, £2,590, Farfetch
Take Tiffany and Co, which has long subscribed to the international campaign No Dirty Gold, ensuring that the gold it uses is mined in a way that respects both human rights and the environment. Chopard has committed to only using ethical gold in all of its products, and independent designers are increasingly cottoning on to using recycled metals.
It’s not just gold that needs to prove its ethical credentials; jewellers across the board are citing the provenance of their stones, from diamonds to coloured gems. Most big brands refuse to use diamonds from Zimbabwe and Angola, or rubies from Myanmar – all countries with dire human rights records.
We can safely expect watch and jewellery brands to start declaring the provenance of their materials, but it’s also up to us as consumers to ask the questions. Now onto the fun stuff…
Multiple ear piercings
It was the trend that went stratospheric when New York jeweller Maria Tash started offering piercing jewellery in luxurious materials. No stainless steel studs here; just tiny, sparkling 18kt gold and any number of precious stones.
18ct yellow gold, 18ct blackened gold and diamond Gypset heart hoop earrings, £25,700, Jessica McCormack
Now everyone is heeding the call for petite styles to layer up the ear. Jessica McCormack’s gypset collection has to be the most luxurious of all, with bullet shaped emeralds, heart shaped rubies, and any number of diamond sizes and styles sold singly either as studs or dangling from miniscule gold hoops.
Ear wishes, from £150, Robinson Pelham
Robinson Pelham has an endless array of studs and hoops – hearts, arrows, eyes, lightning strikes – you name it, in rainbow colours or monochromatic white. And Riufier’s Modern Words fine collection sells mismatched pairs of giant single hoops on long chains to thread through your piercing, with a tiny stud to go on the other side.
Bold gold chains
Bold gold chains are back, and no longer something only worn by ladies who lunch in a Chanel skirt suit. Chunky gold bracelets and necklaces come in chain form, be it flexible snake chain, chunky box chain, or classic belcher chains of interlocking oval loops.
18ct gold Florentine Finish links bracelet, £3,480, Carolina Bucci
I’ve dug out my granny’s old hollow gold chain bangle with a heart shaped safety lock, but there are myriad styles about to hit the shops; be it Carolina Bucci’s divinely sparkly Florentine bracelets to Chanel’s woven gold and diamond Impression Camelia bracelet.
For a layered effect without the layering, look to Anissa Kermiche’s new collection inspired by French revolutionists. Her Louise D’Or gold coin necklace is a glorious statement piece to wear under a white shirt, dangling with six gold coins on a fine chain.
I fell hard for Alison Lou’s ‘Jelly’ hoops in neon shades of Lucite this year, and the trend will be carrying on next year.
Alison Lou Medium Jelly Lucite and enamel hoop earrings, £130, Net-a-Porter
They’re fantastic plastic fun, in various sizes (although I think the bigger the better), and are joined by equally joyous looks by Australian brand Dinosaur Designs, LA label Cult Gaia, and luxurious versions by Spinelli Kilcollin.
I never cease to be amazed by how modern pearls look these days. Sophie Bille Brahe’s Botticelli earrings are like clusters of white bubbles in the form of freshwater pearls, while she masterfully balances bold baroque pearls at the end of a single earring or atop a gold hair slide to exquisite effect.
18ct gold and Akoya pearl Balance Signature ring, £2,340, Tasaki
Japanese mega brand Tasaki now boasts Nepalese-Singaporian designer Prabal Gurung at the helm, doing amazingly contemporary things with the gem, while Timeless Pearly’s pale pink baroque pearl bracelet has a sweet vintage look that has nothing to do with a single-strand pearl choker.
Never have I been so obsessed with the costume jewels seen on the runway. Gucci, Simone Rocha and Alexander McQueen’s costume jewels are as over the top and playful as only costume jewels can be – think shells, skulls, beetles, insects and more – while Erdem’s crystal and faux pearl flower drop earrings are the prettiest things imaginable.
Erdem crystal and pearl-embellished floral-drop earrings, £310, Matchesfashion.com
Yes, all these will be knocked off by the high street within seconds for a tenth of the price, but you can guarantee the rip offs will also fall apart within seconds. Invest in the pricier option and you won’t find yourself having to bin them after one night’s wear.
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