Big, bold and colourful: An emerging 80’s vibe in
Every September a select group of trade buyers attends VicenzaOro, a boutique jewellery show near Venice, Italy, where a handful of brands showcase new designs that will influence trends for the coming season. This year at VicenzaOro, we saw cocktail rings, big earrings, power cuffs, and enough flowers to furnish a royal wedding.
By Carol Bresler
Nature has always been the ‘it’ motif in jewellery design but is now more ubiquitous than ever, from simple four-petal silhouettes to complex, sculptural designs and high-level gemsetting. Many of the new looks consist of large centre stones surrounded by petals set with pavé diamonds or gemstones in graduated hues or surprising colour combinations.
Fine jewellery is getting big again. The trend toward stacking and layering of several small, even minimalist pieces is transitioning to a 1980s-like penchant for big, bold pieces. It coincides with a return in fashion to 1980s power dressing, including shoulder pads and double-breasted suits. We may need big hair and earrings to pull it off, and we’re definitely going to need a power cuff, the jewellery world’s most important contribution to the re-emergence of armour dressing. Cuffs are popular partly for their versatility. As a large canvas, a cuff lends itself to a variety of styles, including either high-polished or hammered metal surfaces, large gemstones or pavé sprinklings, and potentially three-dimensional designs
In terms of gemstones, there is a return to the big three – ruby, emerald, and sapphire – which mirrors jewellery trends from the late 1980s and early ’90s. That said, there is no denying the elevated status of so-called semi-precious gems that has become entrenched since then, including, at the moment, the softer colours of gems like chalcedony and morganite. “Big but soft,” is how one exhibitor describes it, and that may be the best way to define the emerging neo-’80s look: power, but with a hint of femininity.