“Jewelry has the power to be the one little thing that makes you feel unique.” So said Elizabeth Taylor, a woman who understood the power of a good bauble better than perhaps anyone. Admittedly, the jewelry obsessive was less about the little things and more about the stonking, six-figure ones, but the rest of the world, it’s an adage that still rings true. Indeed it’s been a bumper couple of years for jewelry creativity since the pandemic, with hope-filled talismans, dopamine-inducing color, and advancements in traceability and circularity that point to a bright, gem-studded future.
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As for 2023, trend forecaster Jodie Marie Smith has spotted a wave of youthfulness coming through, with jewelers playing with looser shapes and forms and less conventional color combinations. She points to the “chaotic combinations” of high and low materials seen in Marco Panconesi’s hybrid gemstones, and in Binliang Alexander Peng’s quirky but precious creations. “It’s irreverent, unfussy and unserious,” she says – a welcome contrast to the sometimes po-faced traditional jewellery offering. We’ve seen this same spirit in Emma Walton’s chunky double-stone rings, beloved by Dua Lipa, and Susannah King London’s upcycled multi-colored gem rings, which sell out immediately via her TikTok drops.
Miranda Preston, Fine Matter’s head of design partnerships, has witnessed this same youthful exuberance, and has just signed up King and Aimos as a result. “I love the textured, molten look of Aimos’s rings, each one is different,” she says. “The trend’s a fresh take on organic textures, with fun, chunkier pieces, and a more contemporary feel.” For Ruby Beales at Liberty, chunky hard stone pieces from By Pariah and new addition to the store, Jacqueline Cullen, provide the same organic charm, as well as the handcrafted, British-made look that the Liberty customer loves. Victoria Lampley of jewelry consultancy The Stax says the desire for the handcrafted look goes beyond looks. “People want pieces from artisanal jewelers who are sitting at the bench themselves,” she says. “They want the stamp of someone’s fingerprint on a piece.”
This is predominantly jewelry that is designed to be worn every day, and Mimi Hoppen, director of jewelry at Dover Street Market, believes that will be the chief consideration driving purchases in 2023. “I think styles that are really for everyday wear rather than occasion jewelry will be popular,” she says. She points to the continuing popularity of signet rings from the likes of Ilaria Icardi, the jewelry designer who doubles as Bottega Veneta’s ready-to-wear design director, and Raphaele Canot’s effortless diamond earrings. The same easy-to-wear feel applies to beaded jewelry, which Beales says is moving to “less a holiday, more an everyday look”. See Brooke Gregson’s semi-precious tumbled beads and By Pariah’s pieces in darker jewel tones, a shift from the previously popular summer brights.
That’s not to say that statement pieces are going away. Indeed, for Established’s Nikki Erwin, knuckle-dusting rings like her “Zero FG” style are attracting new fans with their bold good looks – and in this particular case its tongue-in-cheek secret message. “That ring has been flying with people you wouldn’t expect, even women in their 60s and 70s have fallen for it,” she laughs. Similarly at Netaporter.com, market director Libby Page says statement jewels in yellow gold remain popular. “We are loving the mix of textures, links and solid shapes, which are simple yet bold all in one. Lauren Rubinski, David Yurman and David Webb are the designers mastering this,” she says.
Pearls too remain a popular choice. “Pearls are still huge for us, and next season we’re seeing pearls that are more oversized,” says Beales, pointing to CompletedWorks’s giant pearl necklaces and bracelets. “We have seen our designers taking pearls to the next level – think diamond tennis necklaces, chokers and lariats adorned with pearls. Sophie Bille Brahe, Completedworks and Mizuki are some of our key brands for this look,” says Page.
Hoppen is also excited about the developments in lab-grown diamonds, with brands becoming more creative about what it is possible to do in a lab, and clients more open to the stones now than in the past. “There are some brands creating super interesting and beautiful techniques with these stones, for example Unsaid and Nomis,” Hoppen explains. “I’m personally really excited about the innovation and creativity coming from this world, and to see what comes next.”
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Smith agrees. She says designs like Unsaid’s bubble-cut diamond ring (the largest lab-grown diamond ring yet), Patcharavipa’s diamond briolette and bead designs, and novelty cuts by the likes of Dayagi Diamonds – duck-shaped diamond, anyone? – are all enticing options for the modern jewelry lover. “It’s no longer just about a brilliant cut. It’s not about sparkle and brilliance, it’s about uniqueness and having something that other people don’t have,” she says.
With the likes of Bulgari already experimenting with immersive art experiences and NFTs, Smith reminds us that Web3 is coming, and it’s time for jewelry brands, who tend to be behind the curve on tech, to follow fashion’s lead and have fun with it. “I remember when jewelry brands were really reluctant to have a website or Instagram handle even,” she says. “But look at businesses like Gucci. Digital fashion in the metaverse and in gaming is really growing and expanding, and the money being spent is already enormous.” Sarah Ysabel Dyne is doing just that. Every one of her bespoke Loverglyph rings comes with its own digital artwork that brings to life the different motifs selected by the client. “As a creator, when you’re building out a universe, you want to use all the tools at your disposal,” she says. “By bringing them to life, it becomes a much more emotionally connective and immersive experience than just a flat drawing or gouache.”
Keep reading to discover which jewelry trends will get your juices flowing in 2023.
Think youthful maximalism, unexpected combinations, chunky forms, and deliciously rough edges.
The Power Pinky
Signet rings are going nowhere. “People want something substantial that reflects their identity, and looks cool and contemporary,” says Lampley.
Beads Go To The Dark Side
“We’re seeing lots of darker stones in beading, from labradorite to spinels and garnet. It’s less playful than before and can sit amongst other jewelry more easily,” says Fine Matter’s Preston.
Whether they are mined or lab-grown, jewelers are thinking outside the box when it comes to everyone’s favorite gemstone.
The gem that keeps on giving. Now it’s time for pearls to go big. Literally.
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk
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