Pirate jewellery is all the rage, thanks to Johnny Depp's latest Pirates of the Caribbean instalment.
Penélope Cruz might consider accessorising like Johnny
Over the past two weeks Penélope Cruz has trodden a dozen red carpets from Moscow to Cannes to promote the fourth instalment of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, On Stranger Tides.
Her outfits, although fittingly glamorous for the Hollywood A-lister she is, seemed to me to miss an obvious trick. Too groomed, by far. I would have loved to see the Spanish beauty wearing something by Penny Rose, the wardrobe designer behind all the Pirates movies, rather than the velvet Emilio Pucci day suit (worn in Moscow), the romantic Marchesa evening dress (California), the striking white Givenchy haute couture gown (London), the dressed-down Hakaan jumpsuit (Madrid), or even the red shiny Armani Privé number (Cannes).
For the latest swashbuckling epic, Rose did a splendid job with Cruz, who was pregnant throughout, disguising her bump under heaving corsets and romantic ruffled blouses. She looks like a dashing principal boy with her buccaneer jacket and L'Oréal-endorsed locks flowing beneath her plumed wide hat.
But "Angelica", the pirate daughter of Black Beard, lost out on the film's best wardrobe and in particular, accessories. Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow got these.
Although it would be fair to say Depp's comical Highwayman-meets-gritty-Keith-Richards-esque-rockstar get-up hasn't evolved much since its first outing in 2003, never before (bizarrely) has the pirate-theme struck such a fashionable chord.
I left the cinema deafened by the soundtrack of thundering horse hoofs and crashing metal swords, and equally hypnotised by Depp's jangling necklaces, earrings, plaits and clanking beaded head ornaments, which truly took advantage of 3D technology by darting this way and that.
The film made me long for the sort of noisy, jangling jewellery that announces your arrival. Then and there I wanted to pile on bangles and necklaces, and dig out my Marsha Varrow rings that feature tiny quivering diamond butterflies with moving winds, and wobbly gold baubles that clink like wind chimes.
Having spent the earlier part of the day looking through autumn/winter 2011/12 designer images, it also felt spooky seeing clothes on the big screen that seemed to mirror what we recently saw on the catwalks. From Karl Lagerfeld's dandified and caped 2012 Chanel collection to Marc Jacobs' leather corsets and Haider Ackermann's swathed dresses, which appeared sliced as if by a pirate's sword.
Cruz could have worn any outfit by Ackermann, accessorised by his pirate-like wide belts with big, gold buckles and gauntlet gloves, and no one would have been the wiser.
What a pity, too, that she didn't wear a hat, not even a candy-pink wide-brimmed fedora from Maison Michel; that would have been more exciting than her red-carpet jewels (which looked like they belonged to someone's grandmother).
Statement jewellery, such as dramatic gold accessories, the sort that look like they might have been plundered from a treasure chest, are key to this summer and look great with maxis and wide-legged trouser-suits. And what better than gold - lots of it and all worn at once - to offset top-to-toe eye-popping brights? There has never been a better excuse to show off your Cartier Love bracelet collection or Georg Jensen ring hoard.
The bohemian, loose and long and flowing 1970s vibe, with its clashing exotic prints, actually looks far better with accessories the size of small fruit, or indeed actual fruit (Prada, for example, has done bananas).
Navajo-style thongs that you once could only find in California are now all over Topshop. The classiest versions include those by Erickson Beamon, which use slivers of agate for its pendants, and Vanessa Arizaga, whose feathered, beaded and necklaces have that 'I've-been-marooned-on-a-desert island feel. Then there is insect jewellery. Flies, bees, bugs, scarab beetles and creepy crawlies are flying out of fashionable boutiques. Lady Gaga is wearing animal brooches by Lea Stein.
And speaking of pirates, we must not forget skull and crossbones. Alexander McQueen will officially launch jewellery this September but until then there are plenty of labels using McQueen signature skulls, snakes and bones as inspiration.
We will have to wait until mid-June to see whether menswear embraces pirate chic (the spring/summer 2012 designer men's shows kick off in Milan then pick up in Paris on June 23).
In the meantime go see the new Pirates movie - just don't buy the T-shirt. Instead throw a snakeskin belt over loose silk trousers, layer tops under a tunic, to resemble that romantic pirate shirt, tie a scarf around your head and pile on the accessories. If it's good enough for Johnny Depp …