A lot of the recent fashion trends we’ve featured have been obviously influenced by a particular era, movement or style. This is one jewelry trend, however, that is not worth trying to pigeon hole. It’s clean, simple, minimalist, and modernist. But it’s equally inspired by the Ancients. We’re talking about cold, hard, solid metal shaped into the forms of cuffs and collars; and whether it’s gold or silver, copper or bronze, it’s a strong look for right now and one that will eagerly be carried over in to autumn / fall 2011’s fashions.
Read on for tips on how to wear this trend, where to draw inspiration from, and where to buy it. And as always, you can keep up with all the latest trends and information on how to style them by subscribing to Fashionising.com’s newsletter.
At Elie Saab A/W ’11
As the neutral tones and clean cuts of minimalism have breezed their way into fashion, so too have minimalist accessories been taking over from their ostentatious counterparts. It’s a natural progression, from clothing to jewellery; and thus no surprise that the minimalism so strong in 2010 is still being played out in 2011 by way of our accessories. To that end this particular trend is not about embellishments or filigrees or engravings or any other form of decoration bar for smooth, solid metal (as per the Elie Saab example above) and perhaps – if anything at all – a simple stone setting or two.
While minimalism has shaped this trend to a large degree, it’s also stemmed from another of last year’s big fascinations: the warrior. 2010 was full of fierce ancient warrior influences and these fed into the kinds of gauntlet-like cuffs and jewellery inspired by armour plating that have merged in with 2011’s more glamorous takes. Historically this part of the trend harks all the way back to the Bronze Age through to the Iron Age, where armlets and torques (or torcs, a neck ring made of metal twisted together into a collar necklace) were popular.
Bronze Age embossed gold armlets, 2100-1900 BC. Image courtesy of the British Museum.
How to wear it right now
As with much of 2011’s fashion, solid metal accessories are mostly being worn with a 1970s spin. Take a flowing frock or sharp tailored suit and there’s little better way to accessorise it than with a glamorous sleek gold choker or a heavy gold cuff bracelet. Your 2011 swimwear can also be magnified tenfold in glamour when being worn pool side as opposed to in the water by accessorising with some Grecian goddess-like precious metal jewelry.
For winter take cold metal pieces and contrast them against soft knits or cosy furs; or pair a strong metal choker with a structured, minimalist jacket or coat for some icy sophistication.
On the runway at Michael Kors, A/W ’11
As the mod sixties start to creep back around as we move into 2012’s fashions, original designs from the modernist movement – designs marked by mostly abstract forms and clean, sturdy designs – will emerge as willing accompaniments to a swinging ’60s look. Here you’re best off hunting down chunkier silver or silver-tone pieces.
In picking up some of 2011’s solid metal jewelry, what materials should you look for? There’s no real rules, though the most suitable are:
- Gold and gold-tone
- Any hammered metal, which has a textured finish rather than a smooth one.
Where they’ve been seen
Spring 2011’s fashion editorials have been chock-a-block with them; while for autumn / fall 2011 we spotted the trend on numerous runways from Elie Saab autumn 2011 to Michael Kors autumn 2011, proving these accessories are investments you can carry across from warm weather to the colder months without skipping a beat. Follow the links to those collections for more pictures of this solid metal jewellery trend on the winter runways.
Silver cuff bracelet at Michael Kors, A/W ’11
Air France takes cuffs to the sky (12 Dec 2011)