Bring out the bling - fine jewellery is the latest crucial fashion accessory.
Fashion talk: Any time is now the right time to bring the bling
What better excuse than a lavish summer event to disply the family diamonds? What's that you say? You don't own any? Or is it more a case of you won't be going to any fancy ball in the near future, so won't be needing any? Well, listen up: fine jewellery is the latest crucial fashion accessory. You no longer need to be going anywhere in particular to wear it, but wear it you must.
Ever since the US Vogue editor Anna Wintour showed us in The September Issue that wearing a Dh75,000 HStern necklace to the office every day was a no-brainer (i.e. one less thing to stress about), real jewellery has bounced back on the radar. Jewels have officially taken over from "It" bags and "Superheels" as the talking point. The red carpet and TV talent shows are responsible for generating interest among younger audiences in particular. Amanda Holden's OTT giant baubles, worn with her Ralph & Russo evening gowns throughout the recent Britain's Got Talent have apparently kick-started a trend for teenagers wearing glitzy, in some cases, real jewellery, to school proms.
There's also been a huge increase in the number of fashion-forward brands and both established and cutting-edge fashion houses producing ranges (Burberry Prosum, Lanvin and Marni to name but three) for the kind of customers who would be teaming their prized possessions with luxe ready-to-wear clothing pieces. This August, Vanity Fair has produced a jewellery magazine sold with their regular issue that could stand on its own. It is that trend-setting.
The actress Kristen Scott Thomas appears on the front wearing diamond and gold earrings and a necklace by Chanel. What follows is pages and pages devoted to all things sparkly, along with several exciting features on the new wave of jewellery designers everyone is talking about. No, not just the likes of Shaun Leane, the radical fine jeweller who cut his teeth (and precious stones) collaborating with Alexander McQueen. New names in jewels include Sharon Stone, Ivanka Trump, Eva Herzigova and Maxim, the dreadlocked MC of the rock group Prodigy.
Bored, perhaps, with creating perfumes or coming up with fashion lines, the latest phenomenon in fashion is the celebrity jewellery line. In most cases it actually makes sense. Historically, glamorous actresses have always had a penchant for jewels. Elizabeth Taylor and, more recently, Sharon Stone always made it clear that if their Hollywood mansions were on fire and the options were to save clothes, husbands or jewels, it would be the latter.
Naomi Campbell's love of diamonds is a matter we should pass on, but if you were ever to look backstage pre-show you'd see models crooning and comparing their rocks. Models are insanely competitive about the jewellery they have collected over the years. It's good to see newer brands throwing their cap into the bling ring. Just recently I have noticed far more such labels creeping into prominence. Names such as Tous, which features transition-type price levels for women who perhaps can't stretch to HStern but want to invest in something special they can wear daily, is one to watch.
And Monica Vinader's limited edition range has just arrived at Harrods in London. One of her best-selling styles is a bib necklace featuring hand-cut multi-faceted amethyst, labradorite, moonstone, smoky quartz and lemon quartz, that costs around Dh7,810. Solange Azagury-Partridge, whose cocktail rings can cost the same as a small city apartment, is typical of a growing band of jewellers who offer more affordable pieces that reflect trends. Another option when considering jewellery is vintage, which can cost considerably less. The vintage e-boutique Atelier-Mayer.com has some wonderful Chanel and Dior costume pieces starting from Dh840.
A tip to remember if you are going to wear real jewellery is to big it up. Wear neutrals on top to allow the natural stone to shine. Avoid prints and fussy necklines. Big is best. Go for chokers, bibs and "body jewellery" often actually sewn on to leather, along with bold cuffs, supersized cocktail rings and talking-point brooches in the shape of insect, reptile, bird or beast. And lastly, forget what your grandmother might have told you about not letting a necklace compete with fancy earrings. This is razzle-dazzle jewellery. Wear it in the spirit you once did "Superheels" and "It" bags. If someone calls you a show-off, take it as a compliment.