What Are the Hottest Trends from the AW17 Catwalks?

What Are the Hottest Trends from the AW17 Catwalks?

Rachael Taylor, IJL’s Trend Editor shares an AW17 Catwalk Trend Report 

If there was an overriding theme to the autumn/winter 2017 catwalk shows, it was overzealous adornment. Rich brocades, lavish metallics and abundant embroidery jostled with body chains, quirky cartoon-ish slogans and rich patterns.

Jewellery, often a minimal afterthought on the runway, was found everywhere; and the scale setting at every design house had seemingly been cranked up to: enormous. Shoulder-grazing earrings (mismatched, of course) were de rigueur at just about every show, while necklines were rarely bare – instead, wrapped in velvet chokers, or draped with chains or pearls.

In short, early 2017 delivered a triumphant set of Fashion Weeks for jewellery, smashing any illusions that are heading towards anything but the most maximalist of seasons. Here are five of the bold new jewellery trends from those exuberant AW17 catwalks.

AW17 Trend: Enormous earrings 

The biggest jewellery trend of the season focused on the ear. After a dalliance with ear cuffs and climbers that headed up (and there were still a few of these to be found), AW17’s earrings are crashing back down in volumes. On the runways, nearly every designer dressed its models in earrings that grazed the jawline or dropped all the way down to the shoulders.

Asymmetry was a key look, with mismatched designs, contrasting colours or solo earrings. Hoops were popular, as were heavily embellished estate-style jewels, and many designers chose to introduce flashes of colour to the ear through brightly hued perspex, long fabric tassels or feathers.

AW17 Trend: High necklines 

Chokers dominated the AW17 catwalks with most designers dressing the neck in some way – if not with a traditional jewellery choker, necks were wrapped with loops of models’ hair, or bows or scarves tied tight in a knot. 90s-inspired black fabric or leather strips continued to be the most popular look, with some embellished with pendants, crystals or punk-inspired chains.

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More elaborate diamond-style or pearl chokers could be found, as well as some anchored with large gemstones or created using coloured fabric or wooden beads. Solid metal hoops were used to create tribal-style chokers that sat slightly lower and could be stacked.

AW17 Trend: Playing dress up

After years spent trying to move jewellery away from its twin-set-and-pearls reputation, it would seem that is exactly the theme AW17 collections are chasing. Oversized clip-on stud earrings and short double strands of pearls round the neck hark back to a 1950s style that makes models look as though they have dipped into granny’s jewellery box.

Brooches were pinned to lapels and overcoats, while delicate lariat necklaces dropped down softly to waistlines. Classic collar-length necklaces and drop earrings reined in more elaborate outfits. Cameos were added to chokers and porcelain-style cuffs stacked to evoke a Victorian vibe. This is about playing dress up rather than seeking true elegance.

AW17 Trend: Heavy duty embellishment 

The catwalks were laden with jewels (even on the male models), and the size of those accessories was overpowering. Elaborate bib-style necklaces encrusted with crystals made a comeback, while bejewelled body harnesses stretched gemstones and strings of chains from neck to waistline, and belt to hip. Hair jewellery cropped up in various forms from full metallic hoods and heavy crowns to pearl-studded hairbands and delicate floral clips.

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Face jewels including nose rings and stick-on gems were presented at the more adventurous shows, while enormous earrings and chokers were uniform. Dressed arms were laden with heavy cuffs, often matching, and the occasional upper arm ring. This theme stretched across all styles of show, from futuristic goth-punk to refined ornate eveningwear.

AW17 Trend: Round and rounds

Circles and spheres were a recurring theme in AW17 catwalk jewellery. Hoop earrings – the bigger the better – were one of the biggest trends of the season. Also decorating earrings and necklaces were smooth round spheres, some cabochon like and others mimicking porcelain or created using wound fabric. Silver orbs created a galactic, space-age look.

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Flat circular shapes dropped from collar necklaces or joined to create earrings, while coin-style metallic rounds created lavish chainmail chokers that spread out over the chest and shoulders. Closed metallic torques, plain chokers and exaggerated circular ear studs also tapped into this trend.

IJL is #withyou providing up-to-date trend advice to inspire your seasonal jewellery collections. Have you entered our Editors’ Choice Awards? Get recognised for your creativity and originality by entering here. 

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Rachael Taylor is a freelance journalist specialising in jewellery who writes for a wide range of titles including The Financial Times, The Jewellery Editor and Retail Jeweller. In her 10 years reporting on the industry, she has travelled the globe to visit key trade fairs, descended a Fairtrade gold mine on top of a Peruvian mountain, toured silver jewellery factories in Thailand, and regularly has access to the most sparkling jewels and people in the business. She has also been a judge at the UK Jewellery Awards, EC One Unsigned and the Fairtrade Gold Design Awards, and was the founding editor of Professional Jeweller and WatchPro magazines.

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