Mixing and matching

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 November, 2011, 12:00am


An expanding global audience is dividing jewellery designers on what consumers want as brands cater to all tastes. Big eye-catching designs and elegant, timeless pieces jostle side by side in the latest collections, but versatility is widespread.

Layering is a key theme and necklaces that hang at different lengths and bracelets made from multiple strands are popular. 'Wearing multiple bracelets or necklaces with various shapes and sizes should be considered,' says US jewellery designer David Yurman, adding: 'The more, the better.'

The designer says gold is also a big trend and its combination with bright gemstones is making its way into every fashion-forward wardrobe.

The jeweller is renowned for creating sculptural jewellery and pairing colourful gemstones with materials such as gold and silver. His latest Starburst collection sees the designer reinterpret his signature twisted metal cabling into more organic shapes. 'With a slight twist in the designs, the bracelets and necklaces are also good to mix and match or for multiple layering,' says Yurman.

Scandinavian jeweller Georg Jensen's Regitze and Magic collections mix long chains, gemstones and pearls, combining fashion with elegance.

Georg Jensen's business manager for jewellery, Charlotte Juhl, says fine jewellery is a traditional business less influenced by fads but its latest collections interpret trends and keep them timeless, 'So you can pass it on to the next generation, even if it follows current trends.'

Versatility and statement jewellery is also seen at Cartier. Necklaces can be worn long or short, pendants double as brooches and warm-coloured stones including pink sapphire and charoites feature, as demonstrated by its Caresse d'Orchid?es par Cartier purple orchid necklace and ring.

Tamie Toledano, marketing communications director at Cartier, says creating an individual style by wearing several bracelets or rings together is in and 'accumulation is definitely a chic way to carry jewellery'.

According to Toledano, skin jewellery, or pieces that are simple, discreet and easy to wear, are also gaining popularity as customers in general prefer jewellery that is easy to mix and match.

Chanel includes layers in the form of multi-strand necklaces. The Camellia Brode collection consists of necklaces with delicate fine chains or the combination of pearls and chains to create a layered effect.

Elsewhere, designers are inspired by romance and glamour. The royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton was bound to influence some brands and consumers, leading to a return to femininity and glamour.

Charles Leung, managing director for Chaumet Asia-Pacific, says tiaras and highly feminine precious jewellery watches are leading the trend, with sapphire a particularly popular gem. Yellow and rose gold is also popular, and unique and personalised pieces are also expected to do well in the near future.

'Demand is coming from an increasing number of affluent women indulging themselves freely and building a collection of fine jewellery pieces,' says Leung.

True to form, Chaumet's Josephine Bijoux line includes elegant necklaces and tiara-inspired rings set with diamonds and precious stones.

Montblanc also turned to a princess and one of the 20th century's most famous icons of style for its new fine jewellery collection.

The Collection Princess Grace de Monaco is a tribute to Grace Kelly, with the pink rose created by the jeweller in 1956 on her marriage to Rainer III, Prince of Monaco, a running theme.

The collection consists of three sets of necklace, bracelets and earrings featuring petal-cut precious stones and diamonds set in a cascading effect.

The rose was Christian Dior's favourite flower and has always been part of the brand's DNA. Its Le Bal des Roses collection is an encounter between haute couture and haute joaillerie where precious stones are embroidered onto other gems in a series of 12 pieces.

And the flower is carried over into its Bois de Rose bridal collection, this time with the stem of the flower inspiring rings and bracelets set with diamonds.

Nature also provides the inspiration for collections from other brands, with flora, fauna and landscapes reinterpreted.

Victoria Lai, marketing director of King Fook Jewellery Group, says floral and animal motifs are trending and designs are bigger and more vibrant than before. The addition of milky and silver diamonds combined with rubies, sapphires and emeralds is also popular, says Lai.

The Masterpiece by King Fook latest collection features a silver diamond snake bangle with two rubies used for the eyes. The bangle is made from a special elastic gold material from Italy to give the bangle the lithe form of the reptile.

Bulgari's roots are embedded in the Mediterranean and the Greco-Roman origins of the jeweller inspired its latest collection, which also straddles the trends for statement pieces and layering.

The Mediterranean Eden collection takes the curves, shapes and colours of the regional landscape and pairs irregularly cut precious and semi-precious gems against conventionally cut stones on necklaces, chains and multiple string necklaces.

In true Bulgari style, the pieces are bold and vibrant, ticking yet another box of this season's trends.