Jewellery trends come in peaks and troughs. We’ve come through statement costume jewels, delicate, layered chains and fine rings – and now, for AW17, we’re in the midst of a statement earring era. And when we say statement, we mean huge. Keep-your-head-still-while-wearing-them huge. Well, if you’re investing in a trend, it’s good for people to see you’ve got your fingers on the pulse, right?
You don’t need to look far for inspiration. Models walked the runways, avant-garde chandeliers swinging in their ears. Let’s start off at the most extreme end of the spectrum: Andrew Gn created enormous pearl tassels that cascaded from the lobes to act as Pre Raphaelite-style modesty makers (if you catch our drift). While not for every day, unless you’ve been doing some ear lobe weight training, nothing could come close in the eveningwear statement-making stakes. While not all of this magnitude, tassel earrings were a motif of the season. Jeremy Scott, Tanya Taylor and Oscar de la Renta showed decadent, kinetic strands of jewels and chains that oozed modern 1920s glamour.
If this is all a bit Classical, there were plenty of pieces for Modernists and boundary-pushers. Ellery created sputnik-style baubles in black, brass and pearls; part atomic explosion, part edgy dandelion puff. They acted as a starkly directional counterpart to the models’ sleek hair, fresh-faced makeup and pristine fur collars. So too did the geometric, sculptural styles – metal wires, both curved and hard edged, gripped cylindrical bars giving the appearance of very luxurious plumbing paraphernalia, while organic, hammered sheets of polished metal looked like wearable pieces of Brutalist Mid Century art. Thierry Mugler’s earrings, cubes and spheres joined by curved bars, resembled modernist mobiles while Oscar de la Renta showed brass ‘ball and chain’ globes – modern, certainly, but with some 1980s excess thrown in for good measure. Well, did you see that eyeshadow?
"sputnik-style baubles in black, brass and pearls; part atomic explosion, part edgy dandelion puff."
If you like things a bit rough and ready, you’re in luck. At Rosie Assoulin, drop earrings featured perfectly formed urns; wear singly with hair swept over the other shoulder. Acne accented their AW17 collection with organic, rough-hewn earrings in shapes akin to shark jaws, or twisted and amorphous. Dipped in gold or natural and mottled, these were hoops but not as we know them. Fendi and Esteban Cortazar, too, revisited the hoop. Fendi’s, while traditionally perfectly round, were clad in exotic snakeskin; Cortazar’s were oversized, interlocking and partially covered with neon springs – rather like the ‘no-tie’ shoelaces of the 1990s. Nope, they didn’t work, nor did they look good in your Reeboks – day-glo fusilli protrusions were never going to become a timeless classic. But somehow, when used on bonkers statement earrings, they looked fresh, cool and youthful. Context is everything.