Even if you’ve been wearing leggings for the past three months, it couldn’t hurt to virtually try on a few fabulous new fashion trends
A lot of predicting goes on during the fashion shows. It’s part of what we do. Watch a handful of capes come down the runways in New York City, and you think to yourself, It’s going to be a trend! And, indeed, by the end, they were everywhere. Trenches, too. And glorious pouf sleeves. Cozy blanket and sweater dressing. Listen to one designer talk about inflated shapes, and then another, and you forecast big volume for fall. (Trust us, there will be.)
But none of us could have predicted this.
That mere weeks after the fall 2020 collections, we’d be locked in our homes. That a virus, the robotic-sounding COVID-19, would penetrate every corner of the globe. That we’d be living in our own Cloverfield.
Not that end-of-the-world scenarios weren’t top of mind for some designers—but it was climate change that ruled their collective consciousness. Upcycling and sustainability were the buzzwords du jour—from Marine Serre, Preen, and Collina Strada, all of whom repurposed dead-stock fabrics, to Stella McCartney, who held a carbon-neutral outing. And who could forget Balenciaga’s portent of a show? It featured an empty auditorium filled with water three rows deep, thunderclaps, and dark, foreboding clothes…. Après nous, le déluge.
But we’re not here to lean into the dystopia. Jewelry is more than baubles and frivolity. It can be an uplift, a smile, a keepsake, an emotion, and a reminder of brighter days ahead. Here, the trends that will conjure just that.
A round of applause to the pearl lobby because those opalescent beauties continue to trend—again. This season, they were in perfect lockstep with the ladylike motifs—the aforementioned pouf sleeves as well as a whole reverie of feminine elements, such as bows and ruffles.
At Moschino’s Marie Antoinette celebration, there were pretty pearls galore—elegant drops, wraparound strands, even peace-sign hoops—to go with the panniers, toile de Jouy, and cake-shaped frocks. Richard Quinn also went the royal route (sort of), opening with a trio that nodded to London’s working-class Pearly Kings and Queens.
We saw arty pearls aplenty—quirky at Adeam (pictured), gravity-defying at Yuhan Wang, Tasaki Atelier at Prabal Gurung. Others were all-out lavish, such as the long rope styles at Emilio Pucci and the even longer versions that wrapped across the body at Giambattista Valli. On the humbler—yet no less lovely—side were Sies Marjan’s baroque drops by Marlo Laz and Roland Mouret’s DIY brooches made from wood stuck with pearl pins. Marc Jacobs offered a more playful take: Kaia Gerber stomped down the runway wearing a pair of glittering cat studs…clutching a big pearl “ball.”
Big Link Energy
Fall 2020 saw the return of punk. And where punk goes, so does chain-link jewelry. At Monse, designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia paired reconstructed tailoring with demonstrative chains (some two-tone); Christian Siriano took the subversive toward goth terrain in a show sponsored by the film Birds of Prey, with piles of chain-link necklaces and bondage chokers; and Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello went full throttle on the sexy latex conceit, accessorized by hefty chain collars of all types.
But what we especially loved were the fresh takes on this tried-and-true bijoux classic. Like at Ulla Johnson (pictured), where the chains came lariat-style and set against artisanal beaded pieces made in Kenya. And Brandon Maxwell, which channeled retro glamour in long tortoiseshell links that fell from the lobes to the shoulders. And Agnona, which stacked collar necklaces—one gold chain, one pearl—to chic effect. And then there was Dion Lee, who, in addition to the parade of angled chains, broke them apart for single “link” hoops and pendants.
Feathers, that bohemian staple, got a supersize update. Think Old Hollywood glamour, all high drama and razzle-dazzle. You can trace the trend back to Dries Van Noten’s spring 2020 show, done in collaboration with the ever-exuberant Christian Lacroix, which saw bountiful plumes—sashed across the body, tucked into a peplum, or sprouting from the shoulder. It was divine, pure brilliant escapism.
Plus, the look can zhuzh even the simplest of outfits. Take Tom Ford’s recent outing, which opened with a slashed sweatshirt and houndstooth skirt—simple enough. But the model turned heads with her feathery door-knocker earrings, dipped in gold. Ditto at Bibhu Mohapatra (pictured), where girls wore gargantuan plumed hoops designed by Narayan Jewellers with Forevermark diamonds for bold color contrast: green earrings with a neutral dress, red against a gray suit, and so on. Prefer restraint? Then try Victoria Beckham’s delicate silver winged earrings.
Charm lovers, we’ve got good news. Whether you adore those styles for the sentimental value, warm to the nostalgia factor, or simply like the jingling—guilty as charged—designers sent out a whole spate of options for fall.
For some, it was in concert with the overarching fringe motif, à la Valentino’s shoulder-dusters, which were capped by tiny pearls and gems, or Zimmermann’s bewitching boho extravaganza with trailing tassels dotted by cameos and various lucky charms (horseshoes, beetles, and evil eyes).
For others, it tied back to a punk agenda—like Antonio Marras’ sliced and spliced garments with a hodgepodge of DIY charms—or a free-spirited ’70s vibe, best seen at Christian Dior (pictured) with its luxe hippies and motley crew of tiny fish, coral, and heart pendants. Marine Serre took the found-object route as well—clusters of keys, pearls, washers, crystals, and the occasional lobster clasp—in a collection inspired by the sci-fi wasteland of the fictional Dune, complete with face masks. Then again, she had those masks on her runway last season, too. Serre…fashion’s Cassandra?