TRENDS: Fringe benefits


From tassles to chains, fringing is big in jewellery design.

From fabric tassles to delicate chains, the jewellery interpetations of the fringing trend are vast. Kathryn Bishop brings you buying inspirations to suit your customer from costume designs right up to platinum.

The fringed look can evoke a sense of all things Art Deco and at other times there is a rock chick feel to the way it is styled, but the beauty of fringing is its versatility. Jewellery design has embraced fringing this season, whether the showgirl-inspired Roxy collection by Storm or the high-end platinum and diamond-set Window of the Heart drop earrings by Fei Liu.

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Fringing has filtered down through the fashion houses and design trends of the past 12 months, from the 1920s flapper girl dresses that featured in TV shows such as Boardwalk Empire to Mark Fast’s SS12 collection of orange- and latte-coloured knitted dresses that were finished with lashings of woollen fringing around the knees. Now, as consumers shop the new season’s fashion collections, fringing is popping up on the high street, in suede Navajo-inspired boots and women’s slip on loafers, on the sleeves and edges of kimono jackets and of course in reincarnations of the flapper dress, released just in time for the festive party season.

When it comes to jewellery design, however, most designers have given the fringed look an overhaul, adding their own stamp with some futuristic edge or a mix of materials. Eastern Mystic’s striking Cascade Shard necklace, part of the Mayon collection, brings the futuristic fringe look to the fore combining sterling silver, plated brass and Swarovski crystals. The mix of finely-linked design elements gives the necklace some edge and has been created for “urban princesses” looking for a touch of tribal-inspired glamour that runs through all of Eastern Mystic’s designs.

A mix of materials continues to be used to great effect by designer Fiona Paxton, who trained in textiles before moving into jewellery design. Utilising leather, metal chains, sequins, beads and stud work, Paxton’s designs typically give a rock’n’roll twist to all things Art Deco. Her pieces have been worn by the likes of actress Drew Barrymore and TV presenter Tess Daly, and span that day-to-night look – adding glitz to a rock T-shirt and drama to a little black dress.

Likewise Jenny Hattersley of Dark Horse Ornament creates mixed-material jewellery with fringing that gives a certain movement when worn. Hattersley hand-makes all of her jewellery, including her current season metallic leather neckpieces and drop earrings. Her unique touch is the addition of chandelier crystals that adorn her jewellery for a touch of luxe shimmer, as exemplified by Dark Horse Ornament’s current season Bullion neckpiece and the nude, cream and grey fabric fringe drop necklace. Her crystal embellished fringe earrings are an elegant design in a soft grey hue that is both accessible and affordable, with RRPs from £23.

Zelia Horsley, champion of the more structured side of costume jewellery, has continued a fringe theme into her SS12 collection, taking things down a more daring route with her multicoloured fringed collar crafted in pillar-box red acrylic and sprinkled with a generous number of Czech crystal droplets. The beads shimmer and sway when worn, adding an altogether more glamorous feel to the fringed trend, which Horsley then turns on its head with her edgy Infringe Me cuff that would be better suited to a night on the tiles than a sophisticated cocktail party.

For a hint of fringing that will appeal to a more modest consumer both Rachel Galley and SHO have created silver and gold vermeil jewellery collections that have touches of chain fringe. Rachel Galley’s Enkai Sun hoop earrings continue to be one of her bestselling lines, with a flat open hoop with seven sections of drop chain fringe that fall to the shoulder. SHO’s Splash Fringe earrings offer a subtle way to tap into the fringe trend, with single strands of fine chain falling from the gemstone-set stud, elegantly framing the face.

The fringe trend offers jewellery designers the freedom to interpret it in a multitude of ways and allows consumers to be a little more playful with their jewellery and how they wear it. While the most striking way of working the fringe trend is with bold costume jewels in dark or metallic hues, the delicate take on the trend means that, even if your customer’s inner rock chick or flapper girl isn’t yet ready to be unleashed, at least her desire for something a little different will shine through.

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