Fashion Month is an exciting time for lovers of fashion everywhere; they are also often thrilling for jewellery lovers, and this year was no exception. The return of Haute Couture in Paris brought more than just the show-stopping gowns parading down the catwalks, historic jewellery houses displayed an abundance of craftsmanship, beauty and elegance in their haute joaillerie presentations. From Boucheron’s magnificent archive-inspired collection to Chaumet’s diamond-adorned creations, there was more than a touch of decadence to the latest high jewellery collections.
Jewellery aficionados certainly weren’t left wanting. While it’s true that Van Cleef & Arpels, Chanel and Bulgari held off presenting their one-of-a-kind confections until July’s couture schedule, there was plenty of sparkle to be had at many of the city’s other storied jewellers. And given that January high jewellery presentations are traditionally smaller and more heritage-focused than their summery counterparts, there were still plenty of show-stopping pieces and surprising world-firsts on display.
From intensely vibrant gemstones at Louis Vuitton and Cartier (not to mention an eye-popping 6,225-carat rough Zambian emerald revealed by Chopard), to innovative materials at De Beers and Cindy Chao, and infinitely versatile new jewels at Boucheron and Chaumet, jewellery designers this season exhibited incredible flights of creative fancy, despite (or perhaps because of) the challenges of the last two years.
Here are the awe-inspiring jewels of Fashion Month 2022:
De Beers - The Alchemist of Light
De Beers’ theme was the power of light, presented over two strands. Atomique celebrated diamonds in all their graphic glory – the hero piece an astonishing collar necklace, where a mesh of 1,907 diamonds culminates in a 18.57-carat diamond, creating De Beers’ most expensive gem presented at couture yet.
Light Rays, meanwhile, envisioned a sun rising above peaks in a dark, shadowy sky, executed via coloured titanium, white diamonds and dramatic black rhodium-plated gold. The pieces were cool and unexpected – think mismatched, articulated earrings and an orange yellow, square-emerald diamond jacket ring that draped over fingers – and all heralding a fresh, new chapter for De Beers.
Boucheron - New Maharajahs
The January collections at Boucheron always draw from the archives, and this year the historic Maison travelled back to August 1928, when the larger-than-life Maharajah of Patiala arrived in Paris with 40 servants and chests full of jewels, placing a gargantuan order of 149 designs from Louis Boucheron. Creative director Claire Choisne’s reimagining of this historic order is less about power and status than sensuality and reflection, all masterfully executed. Cue a magnificent, multilayered New Maharani Nacre suite that’s cast in a monochrome palette of white gold, diamonds, pearls, mother-of-pearls and rock crystal, while the lace-like Majestic Lotus choker is set with a 4.08-carat cushion cut diamond.
Cartier - Sixième Sens
Cartier may have merely added pieces to its latest high jewellery collection, but the new creations really felt like a cementing of Cartier codes – namely geometry and transformability, but also paying homage to the beloved house mascots, from the panther to the snake. The latter finds figurative form in the Synesthésie necklace, where a 35.47-carat Columbian emerald hangs from a scaled mesh of emeralds, turquoise and diamonds. Another show-stopper is the ultra-graphic Victorienne necklace, a combination of starkly contrasting black lacquer and diamonds – the piece can also be transformed into a statement-making shoulder jewel.
Chaumet - Déferlante
Movement and vitality pulsed through Chaumet’s last collection of jewels – a theme that now extends to this latest presentation, which was inspired by the surging tides of the seas. Headlining the eight-piece capsule collection is a glorious, wave-like tiara, crafted from delicate white gold bands sparkling with 1,600 brilliant and step-cut diamonds, set in different directions for added movement. Meanwhile, the asymmetrical burst of diamonds emanating from a 6.05-carat diamond ring evokes a splash, captured in an instant, as another medley of stones – in various cuts, topped by a 3.57-carat pear-shaped diamond – spill from a sparkling three-strand necklace.
Chanel - Allure Celeste
Chanel isn’t unveiling its high jewellery collection until May, but the house still made its presence felt: this jaw-dropping Allure Celeste necklace offers a hint of things to come for its much-anticipated 1932 collection, which celebrates 90 years of Bijoux de Diamants, Coco Chanel’s first and only ever high jewellery collection. Expect an ode to the celestial symbols and numbers so beloved by Chanel, as encapsulated in this enormous oval-cut sapphire that evokes the moon, its custom-cut 55.55 carats parlaying her favourite number. Comet and sun motifs further radiate from the design, all of which can be transformed into brooches.
Cindy Chao - Black Label
The Taiwanese designer looked to nature – namely fruit, foliage and feathers – in the exquisite, 3D-like jewels that see Chao now develop her sculptural signature with innovative new materials, whether manipulating titanium or exploring light-activated resin. Two emerald-cut, dark brown-yellow diamonds in a pair of Fruit earrings are enveloped in a pave of diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, alexandrites and colour-changing garnets; meanwhile, a pair of white and yellow diamond Foliage earrings channeled January’s wintry mood.
Fashion Jewellery & Accessories 2022
Now more than ever, the style set are looking for ways they can easily amp up their looks, and as proven by the latest and greatest from fashion month, over-the-top accessories are the way to go. Brands of all sizes are offering their fair share of outfit additions that are meant to take a good outfit to a really great one with ease. From ultra-feminine hair clips and retro-inspired hats to long opera gloves and eye-catching jewellery sets in exaggerated proportions, it’s clear that everyone missed getting dressed over the last year or so and is making up for lost time with the most outrageous pieces they can find.
Here are the Fashion Jewellery & Accessory trends from the catwalk:
- Not Your Grandmother's Jewells - Powerhouse brands like Chanel and Versace are just a few of the designers extending the current penchant for all things vintage to their collections of accessories. From necklaces with rows of pearls to brooches and gold-tone drop earrings with ornate enamel details, jewels that look like they came from your favourite consignment store are all the rage.
- Chain Belts - With all the other Y2K trends currently in rotation, it was only a matter of time before chain belts would be added into the mix. Early-aughts darling Blumarine sent a chunky butterfly belt down the catwalk, while Acne Studios opted for a gunmetal chain-link style as an edgy contrast. Whether you're wearing it looped through a pair of pants or cinched around an oversized sweater to create a tempered fit, the delicate piece of hardware is a quick and easy way to elevate your look.
- Bubblegum and Bauble Rings - Between Swarovski's new, modern look and Maria Grazia Chiuri's latest collection of fashion jewellery at Dior, it's clear that colourful bauble rings are here to stay. The standout style showed up on the spring '22 runways in the form of Lucite bubblegum rings, some with embellishments, others with illusive, 3D silhouettes, or both. When it comes to styling the eye-catching finger candy, there are quite literally no rules—except the more the better.
- Logomania - Everything in fashion comes back in style eventually, and the ongoing obsession with designer logos is all the proof you need. Since the monogrammed motifs came (back) into style a few years ago, the flashy trend has been everywhere. —more recently, in the spring '22 collections of brands like Fendi, Balmain, and Valentino.
- Colourful Gems - As reported several weeks ago in our trends for 2022, this season is all about adding a pop of colour to your ensemble, and what better way to do that than with a handful of colourful gems? Trending in oversized proportions and bright hues, the clear-cut designs have popped up on the runway at Saint Laurent in vintage-inspired settings that are reminiscent of bold baubles of the last century.
- Novelty Jewellery - Taking the industry's penchant for nostalgia to the next level, the likes of Moschino and Balenciaga are just a few of the names that have mastered the art of novelty jewellery. Jeremy Scott churned out enamel earrings and chunky charm bracelets in his baby-inspired lineup, while we have Demna to thank for reintroducing the idea of beaded friendship necklaces in a grown-up way.