The Essential SS18 Catwalk Jewellery Report

The Essential SS18 Catwalk Jewellery Report

The month of September heralded the debut of spring/summer 2018 collections from a stream of fashion designers in London, Paris, Milan and New York. And the runways’ romance with statement jewellery was far from over.

Mammoth earrings remained – quite literally – the biggest overall jewellery trend, with oversized, asymmetrical and solo earrings incorporated into nearly every show. Many jewels were with bursting colour, while layering was a strong look on both the neck and wrist, and brooches were phenomenally popular.

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Read on for five of the key trends from the SS18 ready-to-wear shows, including the revival of the charm bracelet and the affirmation of the importance of men’s jewellery.

SS18 trend: Lavish lobes

Earrings once again ruled supreme on the catwalks, with a new season offering absolutely no let up in scale, colour, asymmetry and sheer quirk. The points of reference were almost limitless. Chanel opted for enormous transparent drops to match its clear plastic boots and capes; Giorgio Armani played with colourful textiles; Balenciaga created enormous faux gemstones that grazed the collar bone; and Dolce & Gabbana presented a supermarket sweep with pendulous carrots, aubergines, lemons and biscuits (its already over-burdened models carrying grocery bags).

Mismatched earrings worked well to add interest to outfits, while suitably scaled single earrings also succeeded in creating a sense of drama, as elegantly executed at Dries van Noten.

SS18 trend: Don’t forget the boys

There was a real focus on jewels for men in the new-season shows. While the odd flamboyant brooch arose, the overarching theme of the jewels adorning male models was one of classicism and subtly. Plain silver signet rings worn on pinkies, small earrings and simple pendants were seen at Givenchy, Isabel Marant and Paul & Joe (which dressed only its male models in jewellery, while the females were left bare).

Bolder looks ensued at the punky show delivered by Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, where men wore layered necklaces and statement earrings with slicks of lipstick, and at Missoni, where long brightly hued necklaces created pops of colour.

SS18 trend: Fit for a princess

Elaborate antique-style suites of gem-heavy jewellery drummed up drama at many shows, including a tiara or two – Dolce & Gabbana is a brilliant example. Classic pearls appeared across a diverse collection of shows and proved to be entirely versatile: Sonia Rykiel used them to enforce a nautical theme with baroque pearls; Valentino used studded pearls to create a futuristic look; and Alexander McQueen managed to incorporate them into punky-goth stacks of chokers that were strapped over models’ greasy locks.

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Maintaining the regal theme, brooches were pinned to male and female suit lapels, coats, knitwear, scarves, bags and top buttons at shows including Louis Vuitton and Dries Van Noten (which went into a particular brooch – and enormous earring –  overload).

SS18 trend: Neckline layering

Chokers – the breakthrough jewellery-fashion item of the past few seasons – remained prominent on the catwalks, but it has evolved to become a component of a stack rather than a solo statement jewel (though Thom Browne’s clock chokers certainly stood out). This allowed designers like Versace, Christian Dior and Saint Laurent to mix them with longer delicate chains, lariats and pendants to create a relaxed boho look that is ripe for balmy spring/summer days.

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Gucci opted for a more maximalist style of layering with heavy chokers, rainbow-hued GG logos and bright beads, while Emporio Armani stacked up pastel-coloured acrylic link chains (plastic-fantastic jewels were a popular choice throughout the Weeks – see Oscar de la Renta’s chunky bangles). Delicate chains and fringing were also popular motifs outside of necklaces, with tassels of chain swinging from cocktail rings, ear studs and collar clips.

SS18 trend: Charm offensive 

Could we be about to see a return of the charm? On the catwalks, it’s already happening. The classic jewellery icon appeared in a number of guises, from fun-loving charm bracelets and matching necklaces at Miu Miu, to geometric charms hanging from blue leather cuffs at Elie Saab and sweet, pastel-hued gemstone charms on necklaces at Chloe.

Marni also presented a loud selection of jewellery that included charm-laden necklaces. Popular motifs included miniature Eiffel Towers, keys, flowers, hearts and fruit, with the spirit of these charm jewels one of twee and nostalgia rather than personalisation or collectability.

IJL is #withyou offering trends advice specifically targeted to the jewellery industry. Discover more essential advice on the IJL Insider Blog. 

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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