The Year In Review: Top 5 Luxury Trends of 2018
Our final countdown of the key events, products and happenings which have shaped the luxury landscape this year — and will determine what comes next in 2019.Read More
While the undefeatable champion of jewellery trends this year is the statement earring, there are other ways to make sure your jewellery game stays on point. From brand new technology creating rainbow hues to ancient techniques reviving yellow gold, 2018’s key styles are an eclectic mix.
The latest high jewellery collection from Chanel, L’Esprit du Lion, is a celebration of one of Gabrielle Chanel’s favourite motifs, the lion. While this is a tried and trusted motif for the house, what is unusual is the use of yellow gold; usually Chanel’s most luxurious collections are restricted to white gold and platinum.
Photos: L'Spirit du Lion, Chanel
Though clearly a perfect match for the lion’s majestic mane, this prominent embrace of yellow gold is also part of a wider trend shift away from cool white metals. In the bridal market, couples are now more often favouring yellow gold over the more traditionally sought-after white shades, with the metal making a beautiful contrast with white diamonds, rather than trying to blend in.
This new appreciation of yellow gold is also leading to a revival of ancient goldsmith techniques, such as filigree, for which artisans twist tiny coils of gold to create lace-like patterns. The Italian bullino technique, made popular again by houses like Marco Bicego and Nanis, calls for jewellers to etch the surface of the gold by hand with a tool of the same name to create a shimmering texture that feels almost brushed to the touch.
Once again, a heritage style is a hot ticket this year. The diamond line bracelet – or tennis bracelet as it became commonly known after 70s tennis star Chris Evert stopped play during the US Open to collect hers after it flew off during play – is enjoying a revival.
The line bracelet in its most simple iteration is a single row of diamonds with a clasp that is worn around the wrist, making it a great addition to a stack or a sparkling standalone. Investment in this jewellery box classic is variable depending on the carat count, and so can make a great gift or a more serious forever purchase.
Photo: Anita Ko
New styles coming through in line bracelets include the addition of colour, either playing out a binary-code aesthetic in black and white diamonds, or introducing more fun shades by swapping out diamonds for coloured gems like sapphires. The return of the charm bracelet this year has led to some hybrid collections that have charms or drops swinging from the row of diamonds. Or for a more casual look, fabric like silk, leather or even climbing chord can replace a section of diamonds (this will also lower the price) or wrap alongside it.
Photos: Eva Fehren
A colourful line bracelet is a great way to introduce some vibrancy to your jewels, but there are myriad other ways to bring the rainbow – and this is perhaps the most exciting jewellery trend of 2018.
Photos: Rainbow earrings, Chopard
A truly democratic trend, the rainbow jewels look can be achieved with flashes of leather, silk, feathers, fabric, perspex or a bright cascade of multi-coloured sapphires. At the luxury end of the market, jewellers are playing with precious metals by tinkering with alloys - the mix of metals added to pure gold – to alter the colour. For example, rose gold is achieved by upping the copper content, but other colours already made possible include blue, grey and green. The demand for multi-coloured metals has led to the entrance of a new metal in high jewellery – titanium. It is light and strong, making it perfect for large gem-set jewels, and it can be heat treated to turn it shades like blue, green, purple and pink.
Photos: Rainbow rose gold ring, Polly Wales and The Rock Hound rings
Rhodium plating can also be applied to blacken gold, or even create a fuschia hue, while some jewellers are forgoing the usual rhodium plating on white gold (it is added to ensure an extra bright finish) to create a colour that is an understated, alluring beige. Layers of nano ceramic coating can also change the hue of a metal, as can a thick, glossy layer of enamel that can submerge gold beneath, keeping it a secret precious secret for its owner to enjoy.