If, for you, the term ‘statement jewelry’ conjures up images of gaudy colors and flashy gemstones, think again. In 2020, power jewelry means sculptural silhouettes and an architectural approach to construction. These pieces come to life when worn, but are also artworks in their own right: precious miniature sculptures with serious dressing-table appeal.
This trend is best expressed in earrings. London-based label Completedworks combines dramatic chunks of folded ceramic with diamond-edged satiny gold, while the graceful arcs of Ofira’s 18kt-gold Bevel earrings are designed for maximum light reflection. Wear them with a minimalist black dress for super-modern evening elegance. “It’s a simple way to inject some interest into a pared-back outfit, and it requires no ear-styling expertise,” says Libby Page, NET-A-PORTER’s senior fashion market editor.
Mixed metals serve to highlight the complex engineering of these bejeweled artworks. Diamonds add glamour to Eéra’s industrial-chic yellow and white gold Chiara earrings, Katkim’s rotating Echo ring is an intriguing addition to any ring stack, and Melissa Kaye uses glossy opaque enamel contrasted with scintillating diamonds in her sharply contemporary designs.
A style perennial, hoop earrings are once again in the spotlight, and the options are more varied than ever. “In the resurgence of ’90s style, the humble gold hoop is the unsung hero: easy to wear, accessible and versatile,” says Page. Gold hoops reign supreme, but one size doesn’t fit all. With various shapes, silhouettes and finishes, there’s a hoop for every mood.
Small, chunky styles by Balenciaga or Sophie Buhai are ideal for everyday wear: stack them up the ear and style with a tank top and tailored shorts for an instant summer update. Texture adds interest to the classic shape: try Loren Stewart’s twisted gold braids, Bottega Veneta’s rugged gold-tone hoops, or Carolina Bucci’s elongated ovals of Florentine gold. Wear with your hair up for maximum impact.
“Hoops are timeless and universally flattering: the one style of jewelry that complements every face shape. I wear mine every day, for every occasion,” says jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher, for whom hoops have been a signature since she launched her brand in 2005. Her three-inch Thread earrings are among the largest in her collection yet are lightweight enough to wear all day and night, thanks to their slender, hollow design. Throw them on with a lightweight linen dress for effortless everyday glamour.
INTO THE WILD
The spring/summer 2020 runways were awash with paisley prints, rich brocades and whimsical blouses evoking our inner nomad, and that sense of wanderlust has infiltrated our jewelry boxes, too. Éliou’s playful necklaces are adorned with colored beads, baroque pearls and shells, like souvenirs from a childhood vacation. Layer two or three together over a plain cotton T-shirt – an instant mood enhancer.
Once discarded because of their imperfect forms, baroque pearls are now loved by jewelry designers and connoisseurs alike. Their organic shapes are a celebration of Mother Earth’s raw beauty. Cult London brand Alighieri combines them with seemingly molten gold in pendants and earrings.
Elsewhere, raw crystals and ethereal stones bring the natural world into our closets. LA-based jeweler Jacquie Aiche is a firm believer in the healing power of crystals. Her home and studio are dotted with raw stones believed to dispel negative energy. Her rough quartz pendants put crystals in direct contact with the skin, she believes allows the wearer to soak up their protective power. Layer with Wwake’s delicate Token necklace, strung with three iridescent opals, beneath a silk shirt for a bohemian-luxe look.
A PERSONAL TOUCH
Jewelry is more than mere decoration. It conveys who we are and reminds us of special people, places and moments. It’s one of life’s most personal purchases, and designers are recognizing its unique power with jewels designed to feel like precious heirlooms from day one.
“It’s all about styling vintage-inspired jewelry with your family hand-me-downs: the more personal the pieces are, the better,” says Page. If you haven’t inherited one, a contemporary signet ring by Anissa Kermiche or Yvonne Léon will soon become part of your everyday wardrobe, as will a timeless, wear-forever watch like Hermès Timepieces’ signature Heure H.
We feel instantly connected to pieces that bear our initial, or that of a loved one. Wear yours loud and proud on a retro pendant by Chloé or Pacharee, or more discreetly in Mateo’s diamond and crystal-quartz ring.
New York-based label Foundrae has garnered a cult following for its antique-feel medallions adorned with ancient symbols representing qualities such as strength, wholeness and protection. Choose the charms that speak to you and layer them up to create your own, unique look. “They are tools for self-discovery as well as self-expression,” says founder Beth Bugdaycay. “Each wearer’s personal compilation communicates how they got here, as well as what they envisage for their next chapter.”
HEART TO HEART
In the space of a few seasons, heart-shaped jewelry has gone from sickly sweet to the height of contemporary cool. “Heart lockets have been a timeless jewelry staple for years, but now this trend has taken on a bolder personality with bright colors and diamonds,” says Page.
The options are endless: from everyday love tokens, such as Jennifer Meyer’s dainty diamond-encrusted or turquoise heart pendants, to Sydney Evan’s supersized style, set with over three carats of brilliant-cut diamonds. Laura Lombardi combines two of the year’s biggest trends with a chunky gold chain strung with a heart charm: the only piece you need beneath a power blazer.
This season’s hearts have a chubby, child-like appeal that belies serious craftsmanship. Yvonne Léon’s handmade cocktail rings feature heart-shaped slices of coral or mother-of-pearl framed by a twist of 9kt yellow gold, while elsewhere their entire surface is paved with pink sapphires. Carolina Bucci’s hearts also appear in chunky gemstone-encrusted rings and in scintillating earrings finished in her signature Florentine gold. For a subtler take on the trend, look to her 18kt-gold Cuore earrings, which look like hoops from the front, only revealing their romantic nature from the side.
Chopard’s signature Happy Hearts collection was first launched in 2015, and the latest additions are especially collectible. Designed to coincide with the Bond film No Time to Die [out later this year], they feature brushed-gold hearts crafted from ethically sourced rose gold and are subtly engraved with the 007 logo. When diaries return to their usual jam-packed state, pair with your finest Bond-girl evening gown for a truly knockout look.
The presence of tropical prints and scene-stealing Crayola-bright dresses on the SS20 runways all point to one thing: it’s the season to make an entrance. An influx of rainbow-colored jewelry amps up the trend or provides an easy way to introduce color into your closet if you’re not ready to embrace it head-to-toe.
Roxanne Assoulin’s enamel bracelets come in rainbow brights or pastel hues, with geometric patterns or adorned with initials: stack them up to complement or clash with a colorful watch strap. Piaget’s Possession watch comes with interchangeable leather straps – choose from raspberry pink, white or lapis blue. Hermès timepieces are easily transformed to suit your outfit and mood via a rainbow of straps from taupe to cobalt; the house’s signature orange perfectly embodies summer’s vibrant mood.
Bea Bongiasca’s curling tendrils of colored enamel are topped with semi-precious gemstones, and heritage Italian brand Buccellati’s elegant Opera necklace, inspired by opulent theaters, is given a contemporary update with a lick of shocking pink. Melissa Kaye brings fun to fine jewelry with neon-bright enamel and diamonds, while Marlo Laz uses it to create a tie-dye effect on pendants, symbolizing peace and love. Creativity is rife, thanks to this artistic addition to a jeweler’s toolbox – we expect this trend is here to stay.