From up-cycling to exaggerated proportions, talismanic touches and dynamic collaborations, 2017 was a year that honoured a kaleidoscope of forms, with the influence of both the antique and the modern evident in equal measure on the early catwalks. By close of play a handful of strong, directional themes can be said to have emerged from the eclectic consortium of jewellery seen over the year, many of which captured the imagination of designers, editors and collectors in various of the other creative industries.
December 2016 saw Pantone – the global authority on colour – announce ‘Greenery’ as 2017’s tone of the year. Three months later at watch and jewellery fair Baselworld many jewellers presented collections strongly infused with green gemstones. Emeralds were a common sight amongst the more traditional stands, as was too chrysoprase and top quality malachite, as brilliantly displayed by industry giant Chopard. Italian jeweller Marco Bicego too ‘went green’, showcasing centre stage a pair of jade earrings. Arguably the rarest example of green-hued jewellery was at Jacob & Co who displayed a noteworthy, fancy-intense green radiant-cut diamond ring.
Many designers chose to capture or encapsulate themes that embraced the genre of fairy tales, myths and legends. At their core lay an exploration into storytelling – how best to convey fantasy and narrative through the inanimate. Designer Alessio Boschi chose evocative and romantic texts, such as the tale of Romeo and Juliet, as the foundation for his collection inspired by Italian cities. In the press, publications such as Boat International and High Life Magazine evoked the essence of their brand origins with still-life editorials that brought to life the spirit and adventure of travel. As in previous years, astrology remained a key narrative across a host of designers, such as Venyx, Bibi Van Der Velden and Australian brand Autore.
Many brands realised the need to introduce entry point jewellery into their fine jewellery collections, with the goal of enticing new millennial customers. 2017 saw luxury pearl jeweller Yoko London offer pieces priced from £1,000; Fabergé in turn showcased its accessible engagement ring collection, offering clients the chance to buy into the brand at new, less expensive prices.
Once predominantly associated with Indian jewellery, the technique of fusing liquid glass in bright colours to metals saw popularity with designers in 2017, with no trace of this trend abating. From Alice Cicolini to Amrapali, Igliz to Astley Clark, colours, textures and techniques were explored on all types of metal, from humble brass to precious gold.