IJL releases Hilary Alexander’s trends for AW12/13


Rainbow gems, brooches and folk themes play in next season’s jewels.

The Daily Telegraph’s fashion correspondent Hilary Alexander has put together her trend predictions for jewellery in AW12/13, part of a special report for International Jewellery London (IJL).

Alexander visited the recent Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris where she identified a number of key jewellery trends, picing them together for a report that IJL has dubbed "truly insightful". The report is created to help brands, designers and retailers win inspiration for the coming season, whether for design or buying purposes.

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Hilary Alexanders AW12/13 Jewellery Trends

“In an autumn/winter 2012-13 season when many designers opted to show their collections pretty much bereft of embellishment, let alone jewellery – in order to focus all eyes on the clothes, shoes, sunglasses or bags – four shows stood out: Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin, and Alexander McQueen.

They were a dazzling reminder of just how important those gemstones and burnished metals play in completing the mood, adding the finishing touch, and releasing the fantasy within fashion.

Karl Lagerfeld’s showing for Chanel was a total jewel-box of wonderment, paraded within an organic setting of giant shards of crystal and amethyst. Everything glittered from the Lurex-tweeds in jewel tones, to the jewelled handbags and, even, the sequined eyebrows on the models. Agate, amethyst, azurite, black and cat’s eye tourmalines, Mexican bornite, garnet, moonstone, onyx, rock crystal, pink and all manner of quartz, shimmered like a treasure trove.

Huge stones twinkled on the cuffs which clasped the models’ wrists, and big rectangular stone and silver Tuareg-style pendants nestled around the necks of sweaters and jackets. Most astonishing were the giant, metal, ethnic-collars, pinioned with stones, suggesting a modernist interpretation of the Miao people, one of the minority tribes of China.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana turned their Dolce & Gabbana collection into a sumptuous, baroque banquet of jewelled splendour. Embroidered and beaded black lace and gilded brocade suits and dresses were accessorised with tiara-headbands, chokers, pendants, bangles and chandelier earrings, all glistening with gold, pearls, diamante and crystals.

At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton offset her winter-white and pastel, ‘Skaters’ Waltz’ collection with modernist roses and bows at the waist and neck, made from burnished, silver-plated brass; a metallic theme which was echoed in the silver floral, wrist-hand accessories in Stefano Pilati’s final collection for Yves Saint Laurent.

Alber Elbaz, celebrating his tenth anniversary at Lanvin and celebrated for his extravagant ‘statement’ necklaces – did not disappoint.

He offset his embossed leather and fur, tightly-belted suiting, body-con dresses, and full-skirted taffeta trenches with multi-coloured crystal breastplate-pieces, and snarling tiger’s head pendants, worn with deliberately-contrasting, jewelled chandelier earrings."



Tom Ford loves it, Miuccia Prada gave it her seal of approval; even Peter Dundas at Pucci, the Florentine luxury brand renowned for its colourful prints, played-up the sombre tones of the night. Many other designers tapped into a black revival, variously suggesting luxe glamour in shaggy furs, metallic brocades, and Mongolian lamb, as at Fendi; hard-edge modernism when done in leather, such as Riccardo Tisci’s tough-chic Givenchy collection; or more of a Gothic vibe, hinted at by New York’s Carolina Herrera who designed the wedding gown for Bella Swan in ‘Breaking Dawn’, the last of the Twilight movie series.

Haider Ackermann reinforced the spooky mood with his vampire collars and batwing peplums, while Donatella’s Versace showing, with its Byzantine crosses, echoed her late brother Gianni’s last-ever Atelier show, in July, 1997.

Jean Paul Gaultier added a punk/glam-rock twist, accessorising his dark side-silhouettes with gothic chains and crosses. The jewellery references were captured at Salvatore Ferragamo with black jet and stone chokers.


Military and equestrian inspirations emerged as key trends, via scissor-sharp tailoring in khaki and Black Watch tartan at McQ, the McQueen diffusion line; olive trenches and taffeta at Burberry Prorsum; khaki parkas and greatcoats at every level from Dries Van Noten to Topshop Unique; and epaulettes, gauntlet details, and gold buttons in collections as diverse as Victoria Beckham, Joseph Altuzarra, and Aquascutum.

The Givenchy collection was an unadulterated exercise in severe, disciplined, equine inspiration, with knife-edge cuts in riding jackets, adorned with gold stars and rosette motifs, worn with jodhpurs, and trousers tucked into knee-high boots. We can expect plenty of gilt military braid accessories, medallions, decorations and insignia jewellery details, as at Temperley London (pictured), which also paid tribute to a Cossack motif, a touchstone which was also explored by Clements Ribeiro, in both print and silhouette.


The kaleidoscope of rainbow colours, in print, pattern and decoration, is set to inspire a treasure-chest of jewellery in stones, both fake and semi-precious. Miuccia Prada’s mosaic theme included coats and trouser-suits emblazoned with matching crystals. Marc Jacobs echoed the ‘stained glass’ theme in his Mary Poppins-esque, Edwardian silhouette at Louis Vuitton, (also seen at Miu Miu), with jewel-encrusted tweeds and paisleys. Sapphire-blue chandelier earrings swung over the shoulders of Nicolas Ghesquière’s spaced-out, 80’s disco-corporate looks in oversize, hi-tech bold colours and flowing silks.

Multi-coloured crystals were glimpsed under sheer, Marlene Dietrich-inspired gowns at Marios Schwab. Astonishing digital prints – and equally complex folds and silhouettes – were mixed with crystals and beading at Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou, while eccentric striped T-shirts came with jewelled necks at Burberry, and Giles used jewel prints based on more of those ecclesiastical-inspired church windows, for Rapunzel-like red carpet gowns. The incredible, hand-crafted, silk flower tutus at McQ, meanwhile, will provide endless inspiration for floral fantasy.


The autumn/winter 2012-13 catwalks witnessed a return of the oft-ignored brooch, a retro stalwart of the bygone wardrobe. Glittering with diamante, jewels or crystal, or fashioned in silvery metal, the brooch was slipped into the hair at Rodarte and pinned on shawls, capelets and stoles at Oscar de la Renta.

It was turned into Scottish-look kilt-pins fastening capes and wraps at Marc Jacobs and emphasised collars and necklines at Ralph Lauren. Elsewhere, it drew attention to bodices at Bottega Venetta, or appeared as insignia on jackets and bustiers at Temperley.



The appearance of leather gloves, in every colour, and every length, from elbow to upper-arm opera-style, positively called for an abundance of jewelled cuffs, bangles and bracelets, worn in multiples, or the type of ‘knuckle-duster’ rings in organic minerals, as seen at Missoni.



The directional 21st century collections of forward-travellers such as Christopher Kane, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, JW Anderson, Hussein Chalayan and Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, who all employed hi-tech laminates and industrial techniques to create surface textures which blended animal and mineral, suggested a renewed focus on cyber-coloured plastic for necklaces and bangles.



While folksy touches were occasional, it is worth noting the collections which had a deliberate ‘inspiration’ and which will undoubtedly lead to major high street trends:

Isabel Marant’s cowgirl-meets-prairie girl collection Anna Sui’s high-boho and hippie mix of prints, with lashings of pendants and beads, and Meadham-Kirchhoff’s psychedelic mix of 60’s/70’s rock trends.

The extreme tribal focus of younger designers such as Antonio Mores Barros in Paris, and Fyodor Golan in London, expressed in ‘savage’ metal chokers.

The emotive power of The East, seen at Jason Wu (China), Proenza Schouler (Nepal), Zac Posen (Samurai), and Dries Van Noten (Ming Dynasty-meets-Dragon Empress). While the collections may have been expressed in Tokyo ‘red’, Coromandel Screen-embroideries, dragons, and tassels, there is no escaping the influence these designer fantasies will have on the accessories we choose next winter.


Obviously not for everybody, face jewellery continues its radicalist role as an extreme form of jewellery. The young Fashion Fringe 2011 winner, Fyodor Golan, sent models down the London Fashion Week catwalk with jewelled nose-rings, while Kinder Aggugini sprayed lips gold.

Sarah Burton accessorised her Alexander McQueen collection with gleaming silver visors, replacing the lace and metal ‘cages’ of past seasons. And Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, leaving no (gem)-stone unturned, gave his models bejewelled eyebrows.


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