Costume drama: The jewellery to wear this summer

It’s the summer of excess: camp, bright yellow, tie-dye, feathers and glitter. How can you expect jewellery to be anything but loud and colourful? After many seasons of wearing delicate designs in stacks and layers, jewellery lovers are now turning to bold maximalism and jewellery that makes a statement.

The mood-boards are dominated by rainbows, parties, beaches and vacations. It’s not surprising that so many of Spring/Summer 2019’s biggest trends are inspired by the beaches—seashells, mother-of-pearl, fish and lobster motifs, coral reefs and colours reminiscent of the seas. Pearls share the spotlight with these marine jewels but these are not your grandmother’s pearls, thanks to designers who are reimagining the material. If pearls make you nostalgic, there are more old-school trends making a comeback this season, from shoulder-dusting crystal chandelier earrings to chunky hoops and chain links. Here are some of the season’s brightest trends.

Shell company

There’s an abundance of seaside inspiration in jewellery this season. Leading the pack is shell jewellery, which Bloomberg has dubbed the “hottest accessory” of the season owing to its ubiquity on the runway. Cowries, puka and scallop shells are the items of choice, treated to a variety of interpretations. While Italian luxury house Etro combines conches with crystals, brass and faux pearls, jewellery designer Aurélie Bidermann dips cowries into multicoloured enamel before stringing them into cotton and resin strings. Closer home, you will spot cowries in Nicobar’s travel-inspired jewellery capsules.

Pearl jam

The “classic” tag comes easily to pearls—choice baubles for Coco Chanel, Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana, among other style icons—but in their new iteration, pearls have emerged in jewellery collections with a fresh perspective. At Oscar de la Renta’s Spring/Summer 2019 show, models walked down the ramp wearing pearls tacked on to chunky gold jewels while Givenchy showcased a maximal pearly headband for its Spring/Summer 2019 couture show, spotted earlier this month on Gal Gadot at the “camp”-themed MET Gala. Emerging labels like the US-based Éliou and Sophie Buhai or India-based Lune are turning the spotlight on baroque forms, stringing them into sculptural jewels. With their imperfect characteristics, baroque pearls take even basic string necklaces and studs to the next level.

Crystal healing

From the moment Yves Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello dressed up his models in rock-chic ensembles paired with dripping crystal jewellery, this late 1990s and early 2000s trend was set for a big comeback. Look around now and you will see this sparkling trend everywhere. French designer Isabel Marant’s spring collection features architectural jewels carpeted with white Swarovski crystals while the late Karl Lagerfeld added crystal chandeliers in a palette of white, blue and black. Look for sleek patterns and clean lines to let the crystals shine, literally. For a more colourful take on the trend, eschew white crystal jewels for some colour. Rainbow hues are big this season, and multicoloured rhinestones and crystals will make for extra impact.

High hoops

Do hoops ever go out of fashion? Now and then, but with the emphasis on 1980s-inspired style this season, there’s no skipping these earrings. Drawing from the maximal era, opt for thick or textured patterns. Misho by Mumbai-based Suhani Parekh offers a curvaceous pair inspired by landscapes while international brands like Alison Lou and Balenciaga combine hoops with neon hues. The failsafe shape is also easily melded with other trends, so you will find hoops combined with pearls, cowries, crystals or even Pride-themed design from Outhouse Jewellery by Kaabia and Sasha Grewal. And if you are feeling extra retro, put on a pair of heart-shaped hoop earrings.

Linked in

Everyone has a dainty chain-link necklace or two, but these are not your everyday jewels. Chains and links are just big and dramatic, and come speckled with charms and gilded trimmings. Maria Chiuri Grazia, Dior’s creative director, combines chunky links with the equestrian symbol that was a theme for the French luxury house’s Cruise 2019 collection while Chanel’s interlinked logo makes an effortless transition into the pattern. And it’s not just metal that can be moulded into chunky motifs—Brazilian designer Vanda Jacintho makes her jewels from sustainably sourced mahogany and resin while Greytone by Aditi Sharma, an emerging Indian label, creates a similar effect with concrete, brass and thread.

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