Owls, swallows, reptiles, fish, zebras, dinosaurs, elephants and flowers. Last season a veritable forest was more than willing to hang from women’s necks, ear lobes, wrists and hair. If you too regularly ignore your mum’s well-meaning advice to invest in gold and blow a chunk of your cheque on statement jewellery instead, then at least one of these creatures will find a home in your ornament box. A huge trend last year, animal jewellry found takers among the regular and even recognisable fashionistas like Sonam Kapoor and Shruti Hassan. But it’s time most of these animals return to the zoo as the next season paints a whole new picture in terms of jewellery trends. We spoke to the leading accessory and designers to find out more.Geometric/Graphic
After swimming in a pool of random, abstract, floral, ultra-girly jewellery last season, straight lines make a big comeback. Women, be prepared to become familiar with geometry all over again, though this encounter will be more pleasant than your mathematics class. Hexagonal cuffs, triangular ear-rings, lattice-shaped rings and three-dimensional cuboid necklaces are what you could be wearing soon. Narresh Kukreja of the designer duo Shivan & Narresh tells us that with alternate materials like wood and acrylic, geometric jewellry is here to stay. "Though the base could still be abstract, it will certainly be seen in a geometric frame this season." And if you still love the chunky, layered neck piece look, then it’s time to clean up your act and jewellery box. "Lines will become cleaner and less layered and the numerous crystal chains and beads will be replaced by graphic motifs," says designer Shilpa Chavan. But layers aren’t set to disappear completely. Designer Suhani Pittie confirms that it will be the effect and not the number of pieces that will matter as she talks about the exit of the art nouveau trend. "It will be one single piece that cascades into many layers and not ten pieces that will be in vogue."
Essential Minimalism/Concept Jewellery
Still looking for what Aishwarya Bachchan wore to the Cannes film festival? Stop looking! The age of randomly wearing what everyone else does is over and it’s time to wear jewellery that is more than a conversation piece. “Accessories that have a story attached to them or bear a native influence, whether it’s language, tribe or period, are trending right now. Pieces that draw you in and have a cultural conversation by the way of their stone, cut, texture or quality of workmanship and represent one’s individuality are hugely popular these days,” says Suhani Pittie. And if you wished to live in a world that was run by ideas, then it’s here. Jewellery is standing in the front row after being developed into concept art. Designer Eina Ahluwalia, who creates concept jewellery, says that an idea is its strongest component and the material and method serve the concept itself. “Such jewellery is evaluated, like fine art, for its ideas, inventions, intuitions and content rather than for its precious materials or conformity to tradition. And there are many takers for this sort of minimalism. People want less but better, real as opposed to faux, handcrafted as opposed to machine-made and artist-made instead of mass-produced.”
The colour blocking trend has driven the entire fashion industry into dreams of psychedelic technicolour and they can’t stop talking about it. (Guilty as charged!) But not everyone is as crazy about it. To counter balance the burst of colour on clothes, jewellery will have to go goth. "With such bright colours around, jewellery will be using trends like military bottle green and the dark goth tones of black, brown, beige and related hues. Black especially will return as a strong trend mixed with intense military shades this coming fall," says Shilpa Chavan.
The Mad Men hangover is showing no signs of fading anytime soon and it’s not only the Fifties but even the Victorian epoch that is influencing jewellery this season. Vintage is a huge trend and it’s time to skirt the extremes, according to Suhani Pittie. “You need to go diametrically opposite in your jewellery choice. Either wear something Edwardian or something radically uber cool. A mix of both works really well too. One of my headbands pairs beautiful delicate rhinestones with funky three-dimensional bakelite and it is a brilliant, quirky mix,” she says. And when going the vintage way, lace can’t be ignored. Lace is a big trend in jewellery right now. “Metal replicating the fineness of lace with patterns delicately cut into it, is very trendy,” says Eina Ahluwalia.
The age of randomly wearing what everyone else is wearing is over
Goodbye animals, hello animation! Lady Gaga is a patron and Hello Kitty jewellery is already a massive trend globally. But Japanese animation characters are set to invade more than your TV screens for Autumn/Winter 2011. “I have created a lot of anime pieces like television cartoon characters turned into neckpieces and ear studs for the coming season,” says designer Felix Bendish. Even though direct animal motifs might be so last season, their remnants make stylish statements this coming winter. Like the fur neckpieces we spotted in James Ferreira’s collection for Autumn/Winter. "Horns, nails, bones will continue to be big. And you might also see influences from DC Comics and its characters,” says designer Shilpa Chavan who retails under the brand Little Shilpa. Well, we can’t wait to get our hands on that Wonder Woman pendant!
Must-haves for your jewellery box
Cocktail Rings - Walk into a hi-street store, roadside stall or a luxury boutique, you will find them every where. And the bigger the cocktail ring the better. Choose alternate materials — stone, metal or wood – as they are bound to draw attention to your shapely fingers. But don’t skip the manicure with this one!
Eco-Friendly Earrings - It’s easier than you think to bring out the green fashionista in you. Opt for jewellery in natural materials like organic cotton, hemp, jute and bamboo, easily found in most indie/kitschy stores around the city. And you will earn yourself a sensitive yet rebellious image in no time!
Multimedia Neckpieces - If we haven’t already established that you don’t need deep pockets to be trendy, then here is more proof. Inexpensive materials like plastic of various kinds, recycled glass, feathers, leather and faux stones in bold tones are being assembled to create eye catching statement pieces. Complementing one with your outfit will not only let you own the room but will prevent you from bursting the piggy bank too.
Brooches - The older the better. Go raid your grandma’s closet and you will find at least one elegant, old-world piece with which she used to pin her saris. Use it on your jacket lapels, shirt collars, shoe flaps, as a hair accessory or a pin to hold your scarf. There is no way you could go unnoticed and yes, God is in the details.