Fred Butler collection - A Bee In My Bonnet, With A Honey Hair Comb.

LONDON, NEW YORK, PARIS AND MILAN - I just love the fun of the most dramatic catwalk jewels. They’re the ones that get the imagination running wild, the ones that play the starring role in outfits that let the jewellery do the talking and the ones that people in the business call ‘statement jewels’. This is jewellery that rarely takes itself too seriously.

On the catwalks at recent international Fashion Weeks, some designers shied away from big jewels. But many embraced supersized costume jewels full on.


Chanel pearl necklace SS13.

The jumbo jewels trend involves short, often choker length necklaces, and daring, giant size earrings – from short necklaces bursting with irregular rows of bubble-like costume pearls at Chanel, to a choker fashioned from crystal pieces at Missoni, door-knocker earrings that put the OTT vibe in full swing at Diane von Furstenburg, unashamedly fake, beautifully coloured baubles at Meadham Kirchhoff and enormous tribal earrings at Dolce & Gabbana. Meanwhile, Fred Butler’s A Bee in my Bonnet, with a Honey Hair Comb collection was in a league of its own, with gold-coloured hexagon-based body jewels, headpieces and holographic petals.


Floral turquoise jewellery by Gucci.

Interestingly for luxury brands, the materials found in this genre of jewellery are often not inherently precious. The relatively handsome price tags on the other hand are a reflection of the entertainment value they offer. Victoria, Victoria Beckham and Michael Kors showed sizeable bracelets in lucite, a material I prefer to affectionately call semi-precious plastic.

There was also a softer theme at play in these jewels seemingly designed for wearers who can’t resist a stage. At Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Aigner and Blugirl, floral-inspired necklines made for a gentler, more romantic look. All the same, wallflowers need not apply.


Claire Adler writes on jewellery and watches for the Financial Times and Sotheby's. She consults as a writer and speaker for De Beers, Boodles and the World Gold Council.



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