The Style Glossy: New & Now
Jewelry Trend: Big Statement on a Small Budget
By Valli Herman for The Style Glossy
Jewelry and chocolate have a lot in common this season: You
can’t stop with just one piece.
of bangles adorn wrists; layers of chains circle necks; and pendants,
pins and earrings are built with unusual materials piled one atop the
other. Worn in multiples and combined in eccentric, slightly kooky
combinations, today’s jewelry makes its statement with size,
color and audacity -- not price.
accessory collections featuring a strong vintage feel, now is the time
to reassess that pile of forgotten chains, bangles or rhinestones
cluttering your jewelry box. Don’t go on a treasure hunt for
the perfect piece: how you style and combine pieces is more important
than any single item.
Big trends include cascades of pearls mixed with matte metal chains;
rhinestones partnered with ribbon; and rosettes that anchor asymmetrical
assemblages of beads, chains, leather and fabric. Metals
don’t aspire to impersonate the precious; they’re
content to look like they belong in a hardware store.
A return to less-precious materials, coupled with a
new consciousness about sustainability, has helped inspire a creative
renaissance in fashion jewelry. Free to experiment with less costly
materials, designers are crafting wood, glass, rubber, leather, lace,
Lucite and grosgrain ribbon into jewelry that only looks
expensive. Silver -- sterling or not -- is back at center
stage too. Jewelry designer Jeffrey Levin, whose designs have been featured in numerous magazines, even
created a collection of what he calls
“wristwear” made from recycled rubber.
trend is good news for all of us who have despaired that our jewelry is
a hodgepodge of different styles, materials and decades. Matching is
out, mixing is in. Now is the time to flaunt your personal style, says
Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman
Marcus. “You can combine bracelets and bangles that feel as if
they have been collected not only from various places on a journey, but
also from various times,” says Downing.
frail seed-bead bracelet can slip beneath a chunky wooden or silk cord
cuff. That intricate necklace of mirrors, medallions and bells you
bought in India (or the neighborhood thrift shop) is now the height of
fashion, particularly if it’s part of a heavily embellished
look. Forget restraint: Big necklaces can complement earrings the size
of a corsage. Or copy the baroque approach of designer John Galliano of
Christian Dior and pile a bib necklace of gold medallions across a
brocade tunic, fling a rhinestone-studded cord around your neck
and still feel free to tack on tasseled
fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue, advocates mixing layers of chains
and not worrying about everything coordinating perfectly. “An
off-kilter, eclectic look is really on trend,” she said.
“You can mix your pearls with chains, organic beads or
Finding the right balance
of glitz is important so that you don’t look like Mr. T.
“If you are going to layer your necklaces, make sure what
you’re wearing is a bit simpler,” says Sherin.
“Make a statement either with your clothing or your
Here are some
do-it-yourself tips on giving your pile of jewelry an up-to-the-minute
- Layer two or more chains, bead strands or
- Take the pendants from several necklaces
and string onto a single chain or ribbon.
- Using a crochet hook, weave ribbon through a
segment of wide, chunky chain and tie the loose ends in a bow behind
- Replace the chain in a pendant necklace with a complementary color of sheer organza ribbon. For variation, string the ribbon with a few crystal beads set far apart.
- Resurrect your big crystal cocktail rings and anything acrylic or clear plastic.
Valli Herman has covered international fashion,
beauty and travel for many print and online publications.
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