Bejeweled wraps up the year with the best of 2016 Jewelry Trends
After almost a year of the expected and some very unexpected technical issues of building a website, a name change and continuing to write multiple stories while the tech team worked out the glitches, Bejeweledmag.com finally launched. It was July of 2016, almost a year after my friend, colleague and wonderful writer Jennifer Heebner first mentioned it in an advanced story about three new jewelry blogs/magazines on JCK Online.
Since the inception of bejeweledmag.com, I have gained a wealth of information and ideas—chatting with some of the best in the business of antiques and modern jewelry, interviewing emerging and established talented designers and dishing with my most knowledgeable, indispensible and stylish friends and colleagues—all who all gave of their time and their knowledge so openly. I thank you all for being part of the growth of the magazine and instrumental in how it has taken shape. It has been an exhilarating experience so far…
From now until the beginning of the New Year, we are in the process of a few changes/updates so as to give our readers more of the types of columns and stories we have learned that they enjoy most. During this time we welcome your comments and suggestions more that ever by emailing email@example.com
In the meantime we take a look back at the best of the jewelry trends of 2016 as seen on bejeweledmag.com as we prepare to bring you new stories on how to find and wear the designers, trends and antique jewels that will shape 2017.
The 2016 Jewelry Trends
All Choker-ed Up is a trend that comes back every few decades or so—In 2015-2016 it came full circle as designers created styles crafted from fabrics, thin diamond wires and bold metal looks. From feminine to sensuous they surround the necks of a new generation who appreciate those first seen in the late 19th/early 20th century dog collars of black grosgrain or velvet ribbon, designed with cut steel and rose cut diamond buckles, floral motifs and Whitby jet cameos. They were re-imagined, in the early 70s. These Biba and Mary Quant versions of the earlier Victorian styles hit the height of fashion popularity made famous by Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton and actresses such as Ali McGraw.When Punk came into fashion so did more aggressive chokers fastened with safety pins, nail heads and wide leather dog collars that looked like those you would put on a pit bull. Today we see all versions of chokers, worn alone or layered with multiple graduated pendants and necklaces.
Deconstructing Deco was inspired by shifts in the cultural climate and technology with a nod to the clean lines and pared down styles of the 1920’s. Designers such as Nikos Koulis, Deborah Pagnani, Jacqueline Cullen, Lily Kemper, Tomasz Donocik and Marc Alary have all mastered timely takes on Art Deco jewelry. There is a collective consciousness that focused on circular or linear form and sleek and streamlined looks, contrasting elements and colors, and dare-to-be-different pieces that are bold and statement making. What all of these designers and styles share is a relevance and presence in today’s jewelry while paying homage to looks that defined a movement and an earlier moment in time.
In Technicolor featured an effect similar to what we experienced when Dorothy woke up and opened the door to the vibrant Technicolor land of Oz—leaving the washed out background of Kansas behind– jewelry designers have awakened us to a season bursting with exuberant color combinations. This mood conjures up the same joy and exhilaration as when we sat crossed-legged in awe in front of our TVs. Whether designers owe their inspiration to my metaphor is open for interpretation but what was evident is that one of the main trends in fine jewelry for 2016 was all about an explosion of color. Many designers cited influences of vivid silks and jewels of India and exotic faraway lands in a freewheeling kaliedescope or rainbow of hues all in one piece.
Visionary Mixologists showed us how to combine antique and modern pieces with a easing up of rules in fine jewelry. In today’s ever-changing retail environment, more and more jewelry storeowners are curating their shops with a mix of contemporary and period styles, tuning into today’s women’s desire for collectible pieces that are anything but common. Three brick and mortar stores appeal to potential customers clients with their distinctive personalities, their willingness to take risks, strong online shops, and inspirational social media presence. All feature jewelry with authenticity and originality of design, pieces which have history, meaning and that appeal to women on a visceral, emotional level.
The Blues have set the mood for both modern and antique jewelry for the past couple of years and came on even stronger in 2016. Turquoise, lapis and blue moonstone have been in and out of style throughout history, but these stones have become staples of the contemporary women’s jewelry wardrobe and coveted gems in the antique enthusiast’s collection. From the happier sea blues of turquoise and the deep rich lapis twinkling with star-kissed flecks of pyrite, to the magically changing glow of the blue moonstone, these gems’ renewed popularity lends itself to the wear-now, wear-anywhere versatility of today’s lifestyle. The beauty and desirability of both period and contemporary pieces lies in the diversity of styles, symbolism and creativity.
Sign of The Times: Celebrities are wearing them, advertising campaigns feature them, designers are re-interpreting them and antique shops and dealers are selling out of them. Why have both modern and antique signet rings been so popular during the past 10 years and particularly during 2016? In an age of personalization, they literally offer the wearer an individualized stamp of style—one that can be as simple as monogrammed initials or more intricate, depicting mottos, messages and motifs that reflect beliefs and superstitions. A true statement piece, they can be worn on various fingers. In a Ralph Lauren Eyewear ad campaign, they are styled as pinky rings in the same way Kate Moss, Pippa Middleton and Helen Mirren have been spotted wearing them. Music artist Rihanna sport hers on her ring finger, and Penelope Cruz has often been photographed in a ruby and gold signet, which was given to her by her grandmother, on her pointer finger. Ahead of the trend, she also wore it in the film Vicky Cristina Barcelona and in her appearance in a 2003 Coca Cola commercial.
Stuck on you marked the return of the brooch for 2016 in antique jewelry, on the runway, in the studios on modern jewelers and on the real girls of Instagram. This is a trend that continues to grow stronger, so if you haven’t added a brooch or a few to your jewelry collection, it’s time to re-think wearing one you inherited from your mother or grandmother or purchasing one or more. You will want to pin down the types you prefer—antique, vintage or modern and the myriad ways in which you can wear and interpret them with a contemporary spirit and style.
It is Simply Charming how charms seem to never go out of style. Many of us had mothers and grandmothers who wore jangly bracelets that recall the momentous occasions in their lives. We also remember renowned film stars and socialites who owned and made the ubiquitous charm bracelet an iconic style. Elizabeth Taylor sometimes wore two together and definitely one of her own in the film Giant. The Duchess of Windsor wore her Latin cross charm bracelet to her wedding and another one with a Cartier heart that was inscribed “The Heart Has Its Reasons” (part of a quote by Blaise Pascal), which would become the name of The Duchess’ memoir. The bracelet had history, status and was stylistically appealing throughout the 20th century. But when we fast-forward to 2016, the newer trend toward charm necklaces have replaced the bracelet, offering a twist on the classic style. The necklace features pieces that represent beliefs, superstitions, goals, and dreams. They tell the world a little bit about our personal tastes and styles and a lot about who we are, whether created by modern designers or a mix antique, vintage and contemporary pieces, findings and chains.
The Chain Gang became popular in 2016, particularly for the fall season, which calls for wearing longer and heavier chains and necklaces. Both modern and antique chains showed up during the fall 2016 ready-to-wear collections. They are linked together with an inventive or tongue-in-cheek twist. But this trend was not only limited to well-connected stylists looping these looks around top runway model’s necks. Designers, antique dealers, retailers and ‘real women’ hooked up with chains that offer alternative and versatile takes on how to wear classic links and antique guard chains to gemstones laden styles that are twisted, beaded, and braided in ultra-long gold and silver silhouettes.
The Tales of The Talisman offers stories about an historical symbol that has been around throughout civilization. We all need good juju as much as the next person –and many of us have turned to our jewels to bring us luck, romance and protect us against danger. This is why amulets and talisman (both thought to have magical powers) have never gone out of style. They may have changed from naive designs to more elaborate crafted tokens and totems –but the symbolism, spirituality and significance remain the same.
Pearls with Presence focused on new looks in pearls and how to wear them. Icons of style all had a way of wearing pearls, whether they were real, faux or combined. Who can forget Grace Kelly’s fit-and-flare dress with an elegant choker in Rear Window or Audrey Hepburn’s multiple strands clasped in front with a large brooch and cascading around her back in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Jackie Kennedy’s way of tucking a single strand into the top of a dress or shirt or Chanel’s pile-on aesthetic both left impressions on our collective style consciousness. But in today’s era of personalization—we have thrown out the rulebooks and dress by our own standards. While we might not wear sweatpants to the opera, we can definitely wear opera length pearls with T-shirts and jeans. More important, pearls have dusted off their heirloom, preppy and/or traditional images for a more creative, fancifully feminine or rough-hewn approach to rare and exceptional quality pearls.
Earring on the wild side comprised the styles that acted as the the game changer at the 2016 Emmy awards as well as throughout this past year. Every conceivable style was seen from long lean chain silhouettes to multiple mix and match looks for multiple piercings. The ear climber was lifted to new heights in some of the most imaginative and colorful creations to decorate the lobe. Ear jackets also continued to make a strong showing in looks that ranged from edgy to elegant spikes. An explosion of color in gemstones as well as a diversity of new hoops all returned to add a new glow around the face.
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Hair Apparent focused on the tiaras, headbands with a regal feel, which we have seen re-emerge over the past several years and particularly in 2016. We have also watched as other hair ornaments: diamond combs, clips and barrettes have dressed up the tresses of models on the runway, celebrities on the red carpet and in period films and miniseries. Who can forget the tiara Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary wore on her wedding day, a sublime Georgian jewel, loaned by Bentley & Skinner. It was worn by actress Michelle Dockery, 1920s style, to fit the time period in which the wedding took place. Speaking of the roaring twenties, in 2013 another hair jewel hit the screen, this time the big screen. It was created by Tiffany & Co. in collaboration with costume designer Catherine Martin—for Baz Luhrmann’s remake of the classic Fitzgerald novel, The Great Gatsby. We saw pearl and diamond ornaments scattered in Brie Larson’s hair when she received her Best Actress Oscar this year. Many renowned houses have brought back hair jewelry such as the new styles of Chaumet, whose history of tiaras dates back to those created during the Napoleonic era. It includes one of the more subdued beauties of a less formal headband style of a wheat motif.