In our new Forecast Friday series, we will be looking into our crystal ball to predict what will be big in the world of jewellery for the months ahead. And who better to help us than the designers who are setting the trends, as they emerge?
This week we are focussing on the ear since this is a region of the body where things have been getting very interesting. Judging by the number of piercing parties I’ve been invited to in the past few months, a pair of studs just doesn’t cut it anymore. But will the trend for multiple earrings continue? And will 2017 see the return of the hoop?
Mixing up earrings rather than wearing them as pairs and buying them singularly has become so popular that leading fine jewellery e-tailer Ylang23.com has created a new section on its website devoted to them. “We are stocking and selling so many,” says owner Joanne Teichman. “We have had customers get extra piercings – me included – to wear the look, which is fresh and very individual to the wearer.” Meanwhile, in London, jeweller Robinson Pelham recently launched Stud Club, a designated area in its Chelsea boutique devoted exclusively to its colourful collection of stud earrings. “All these earrings can be worn mix and match, no pairs required, no symmetry needed, no colour matching, no rules,” explains Zoe Benyon, co-founder of Robinson Pelham. And mismatched earrings aren’t going anywhere, according to London-based jewellery designer Annouhska Ducas. “They will continue to be a huge trend moving forward into the new year,” she predicts.
An extension – up the lobe – of the mismatched trend, ear stacks are also here to stay. “What better way to express your individuality than with an ear full of fabulous, interchangeable earrings of all different shapes, sizes and colours, whether they be ear cuffs, pins, studs or hoops,” says Ducas. She recommends mixing metals and playing with scale. “I love the idea of wearing one fabulous earring as a statement piece, such as my Alphabet Hoopla Hoop, or layering earrings just like you traditionally would with stacking rings.” New York-based jewellery designer Jane Taylor agrees: “I think that the mix-and-match trend of highly personalised ‘ear stacks’ is going to continue, as people keep enjoying the diverse earring options available.”
The return of hoops
The hoop earring is poised to make a comeback in all shapes and sizes, predicts Taylor. “My gut is telling me that we’re going to see a bigger resurgence and re-exploration of hoops.” Greek jeweller Nikos Koulis agrees: “After a long time, I am revisiting hoops and circular schemes. You’ll see more in my new collection with pearls, named Lingerie, which I will present at Baselworld.” Koulis and Taylor are not the only ones who will be launching hoops in the near future. Venyx’s spring/summer collection for 2017 includes this sharp pair below.
The trend for oversized earrings in bright colours was all over the catwalks for spring/summer 2017. Lydia Courteille has named the style “gypsy girl”, and even classic brands like Buccellati are embracing the look. Its new Hawaii Color earrings, below, with carved hoops of green jadeite joyfully jumbled with gold, are a real break from tradition for the Italian high jewellery house. Or hunt out designs like Courteille’s shoulder-skimming Topkapi earrings, a colourful confection of aquamarines, opals, rubies, sapphires and tsavorites.
Materials used in unusual ways… and unusual materials
I predict we will see more experimentation in the year ahead as innovation continues to be a major source of inspiration for jewellers. Nikos Koulis loves playing with different materials, but not for the sake of it. “They must work harmoniously together,” he explains. “I believe that statement earrings aren’t synonymous with crazy ear cuffs.” In his new Oui earrings, below, he cleverly uses black enamel to create a silhouette rather than colour in.
Watch out for materials not normally seen in fine jewellery also. For spring/summer 2017, London's Ioanna Souflia, who launched her eponymous brand last year, has created a capsule collection of jewels in matte grey Bardiglio Imperiale marble contrasted with warm rose gold and diamonds, including the beautiful pair of drop earrings worn by the model in our lead image.