Slip dresses, handkerchief tops, naked sandals: 1990s fashion has gone from a runway trend to a bona fide wardrobe staple this summer. The revival continues at the hands of contemporary jewelers, who are serving up nostalgic styles gleaming with diamonds and gemstones. Discover the designers leading the ’90s redux with a capsule collection of pre-Y2K preciousness.
For more than a decade, we’ve been filling multiple ear piercings with a curated array of studs and huggies. But the ’90s were a simpler time, when you’d throw on a pair of chandelier earrings for maximum impact with minimal effort. Italian house Buccellati caters to this carefree approach with its ‘Hawaii’ earrings, which feature interconnecting gold hoops that are interspersed with diamonds or onyx. Suzanne Kalan sets over 10 karats of baguette-cut diamonds into airy white gold drops that are suitable for the red carpet, while Mateo combines diamonds and pearls in its contemporary crescent-moon chandeliers. Pippa Small’s rutilated quartz chandeliers are perfectly paired with your everyday jeans and tees, while Larkspur & Hawk’s gold-dipped quartz earrings are a work of art for the earlobe.
Barely-there sandals leave plenty of room for decoration – enter the anklet, which has been elevated from holiday trinket to elegant evening accessory. Strung with freshwater pearls, Mateo’s 14-karat-gold anklets evoke ’90s minimalism at its best. Meanwhile, Marlo Laz’s ‘Agape’ anklet is embellished with hearts to represent love and respect for others, and Jacquie Aiche embraces the ankle in chrysoprase beads and opals to add a pop of color to monochrome outfits. Weightier anklets take the chunky-chain trend south: Shay’s 18-karat-gold chains come bare or strung with pink sapphires and amethysts. The most emblematic of the era, however, is The M Jewelers’ anklet, which is set with a petite and playful diamond butterfly. Pair with Foundrae’s star-embellished toe ring to fully embrace the throwback trend.
Jacquie Aiche is the queen of the choker revival. Her slimline gold choker shimmers with delicate marquise and pear-cut diamonds, and makes a chic accompaniment to a slinky slip dress or off-the-shoulder top. Ananya’s contemporary choker features waves of diamonds floating from a polished-gold bar, while Yvonne Léon nods to the ’90s rave scene with hot-pink enamel – and both Shay and Anita Ko offer playful chokers with rainbow-colored sapphires. Layer a choker with chains of varying lengths for the ultimate necklace stack. And remember: the higher up the neck a choker sits, the more ’90s the look.
Super-fine stacked bangles
It was difficult to sneak around in the ’90s, due to the constant jangling of multiple wire-thin bangles. The super-fine stack is another trend that has aged gracefully – today’s most stylish wrists are filled by the likes of Suzanne Kalan, Jade Trau and Sabbadini, whose diamond-adorned design adds a point of interest to the most minimalistic style. Available in white, yellow and rose gold, and punctuated with diamonds, Chopard’s ‘Ice Cube’ bracelet oozes Y2K utilitarian glamour – which is no surprise, considering it first launched in 1999. Also throwing it back is Ananya, whose ‘Scatter’ bangle combines yellow sapphires and diamonds for an organic, contemporary design.
The arm cuff
In the ’90s, celebrities would highlight their pilates-toned upper arms with wraparound bands of gold – and, just like bucket hats and Buffalo sneakers, that particular niche trend is back with a vengeance. Carolina Bucci offers a luxurious take: her thick gold cuff is highlighted with the brand’s signature textured ‘Florentine’ finish, best worn with a white tank and denim. Meanwhile, LA-based designer Jennifer Meyer offers a heart-shaped opal with a halo of diamonds that is the perfect way to complement a tan.
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