The FW23 runway collections made it clear that the statement necklace is back. At Alexander McQueen, elaborate golden flowers covered the models’ chests, while at Jacquemus, a large sapphire choker worn by Kendall Jenner evoked the necklace that Diana, Princess of Wales, wore with her famous ‘revenge dress’ in 1994. Indeed, ’90s design codes are out in full force across both fashion and fine-jewelry collections. Statement necklaces are joined by oversized cuffs, shoulder-sweeping earrings and knockout cocktail rings – the bigger the better.
“I think we’re seeing a return to joyful, jumbo pieces as a bit of a push-back to the understated design codes we’ve grown accustomed to during the trend for quiet luxury,” says Emily Johnston, fine-jewelry buyer at NET-A-PORTER. “While layering delicate pieces hasn’t entirely gone away, we are seeing a surge in popularity for ‘one-and-done’ jewels – striking, statement pieces that allow you to feel polished in an instant,” she explains.
Lauren Rubinski’s 14-karat-gold necklace, which sports a supersized heart-shaped pendant, is the hero piece of the season. Carolina Bucci has also maxed out the heart motif – her ‘Cuore’ necklace is embellished with the brand’s signature ‘Florentine Finish’, where a diamond-tipped tool creates a light-catching, glistening textured effect. Foundrae’s ‘Wholeness’ and ‘Reverie’ medallions are immense, while Messika has pushed pavé diamonds to the max with its ‘My Move King’ rose-gold necklace.
Solid-gold jewelry on this scale is, of course, an ultra-precious investment, but the surge in popularity for sterling silver – a trademark of ’90s jewelry styling – means that big jewels can be enjoyed on any budget. Bottega Veneta’s ‘Intrecciato’ cuff, Completedworks’ ‘The Bubble to End All Bubbles’ cuff and Buccellati’s ‘Prestigi’ cuff are ultra-wearable pieces to slip over a sleeve as winter draws in, removing the need to fiddle with delicate chains or clasps. “A silver cuff is the perfect partner for chic knitwear; it adds a shining accent to this season’s modern minimalism and luxe layering,” says Johnston. “Silver is more affordable and easier to sculpt. It’s perfect for edgier pieces, such as Amrapali London’s multi-stone cuffs and Lauren Rubinski’s silver, cord and diamond bracelet.”
When it comes to rings, voluptuous designs are taking over. Jenna Blake’s ‘Stardust Dome’ ring is satisfyingly sculptural, while Retrouvaí’s ‘Lollipop’ rings feature gobstopper-sized gems. Cocktail rings should feature chunky silhouettes, such as Shay’s ‘Champion’ ring, Fernando Jorge’s ‘Streamlines’ design and Fred Leighton’s ‘Retro’ citrine pinky ring, all of which pack a punch. “If you want to channel the jumbo-jewel trend for everyday wear, err away from huge gemstones and choose multi-layered stacks instead,” says Johnston. “Spinelli Kilcollin’s four-ring designs are timeless yet impactful, while Repossi’s ‘Antifer’ 10-band ring encases the finger in 18-karat rose gold.”
While earrings tend to offer the smallest canvas for fine jewelers to work on, large and long doesn’t have to mean heavy or uncomfortable: high-jewelry designs by Nikos Koulis, David Webb, Garrard and Ananya are bountifully set with mesmerizing gems, yet feel weightless on the ear. For the fashion-forward, Oscar de la Renta, Saint Laurent and Completedworks all offer supersized styles. But the pair on everyone’s wish list this season? Balenciaga’s ‘Mega’ earrings – the name says it all.