Getting to grips with jewellery trends is all about knowing what’s ‘macro’ and what’s ‘micro’. Let me explain. I would describe a ‘macro’ trend as nature – it’s a ubiquitous theme in high jewellery and a constant source of inspiration for designers the world over. It has certainly played a significant role in shaping 2023 and the creations of some of our favourite brands here at KaterinaPerez.com. However, the recent obsession with more literal interpretations of land and sea creatures is more of a ‘micro’ trend; it’s more niche, more nuanced and seems to have emerged with force in a matter of months. In some cases, these ‘micro’ trends disappear as quickly as they are born, but in the case of animal adornments, at least, I predict they will stick around well into 2024. Here’s a quick guide on what ‘micro’ obsessions to look out for as we say goodbye to 2023 and hello to 2024.
Nature has been perhaps the most dominant force in high jewellery this year. Among the leaves, petals, sheaves of wheat and ears of corn, there has been a definite shift towards more literal interpretations of animals: three-dimensional, immediately obvious and miniaturised creatures encrusted with minerals. In fact, this trend kickstarted in 2022 when we wrote about “the return of animals in high jewellery” and, notably, the Boucheron Alleurs High Jewellery collection with its toucans, serpents, gazelles, butterflies, octopuses and wolves! Throughout 2023, this trend cemented itself, whether through a resurgence of elephants, a focus on marine life at Mikimoto, or a complete creative focus on creatures, like the Magica Naturae collection by Elie Top. In the latter part of this year, it wasn’t surprising to see Tiffany & Co. reissuing its iconic Bird on a Rock motif, which was initially designed by Jean Schlumberger. What better way to fuse history and contemporary trends than revisiting an archival animal design? Similar things were done at Sicis, which launched its Danisa Ice set based on archival panther designs.
There’s a definite shift towards vibrant coloured gemstones across all jewellery categories, especially large multi-coloured pieces and sizeable, impactful stones in pendants, rings and bracelets. Drilling down into this further, we have witnessed a surge in warm-toned minerals, specifically imperial topaz, rubellites, deep amethysts, mandarin garnets, spessartite garnets, citrines, carnelians… think sunset shades that add a comforting depth. Examples of this palette can be found at almost all the major houses and across the works of independent designers. There’s Bulgari’s Oriental Fantasy necklace with 90 carats of mandarin garnets from the Mediterranea High Jewellery collection, the Louis Vuitton Seeds necklace with a 52.75-carat rubellite and a 20.27-carat spessartite garnet, the Van Cleef & Arpels Jardin de La Rose ring with rich red rubellites and sapphires, and, of course, the sensational Tweed Gabrielle necklace from the Lion chapter of the Tweed de Chanel High Jewellery collection.
Jewellery as sculpture is nothing new per se, but in the last 12 months, there has been a whirlwind of shapely, dynamic and dimensional jewels that capture a sort of contemporary minimalism. Think too-cool-for-school forms with a ‘quiet luxury’ edge (more on that later), which is a sure-fire hit for 2024. Examples include pieces by Jochen Leën and the Mashandy Origyne collection by Philippe Guilhem, in addition to Spanish artist Spanish artist Inés Nieto and her white cacholong Cube rings with Paraiba tourmaline. I’d also like to mention the Pomellato Skyline necklace with its structured rows of spinels and diamonds and a new piece in the Bubbles by Sean Gilson for Assael collection that I was pleased to see at JCK Las Vegas. Finally, a shout-out to the newness at Bucherer Fine Jewellery, including its Inner Fire and Rock Diamonds collections, which are crisp, clean and shapely.
This year, chains were such a dominant force in high jewellery that we dedicated an entire article to the subject! The most successful iterations used mixed metals and chain weights to create something dynamic and interesting, just like Louis Vuitton, Pomellato and Piaget. I was especially fond of Chaumet’s Tulipe necklace from the Le Jardin de Chaumet High Jewellery collection, notably for its asymmetric chain and floral motif, set with a 10.71-carat pear-shaped red spinel. Unlike the ‘neck mess’ trend that we wrote about in 2022, this new era of layered chains is more purposeful, more elegant and more elaborately adorned with gemstones and diamonds.
Jewellery has always been a meaningful purchase, but in the last 12 months, we’ve seen that sense of storytelling go up a notch. There’s Sabine Roemer’s Superwoman ring collection that celebrates women’s inner strength, the remarkable Harem’s Garden suite by Alessio Boschi, and the Mashandy Origyne collection by Philippe Guilhem, which fuses ancient languages with patinated bronze and precious gemstones in a union that's inspired by primitive art. Charms, talismans, amulets and personalised pieces have also played a part in shaping trends this year, guided by the desire we each have to express our unique personalities, stories and emotions. Just look to the EarMenu by London-based Robinson Pelham and its build-your-own-story potential, the travel-themed jewels by NeverNoT, or the Harakh Drops of JOY range, which draws upon ancient Ashtamangala symbols. I believe 2024 will dig even deeper into this trend, using historical and mythological references to make self-expression more nuanced.
The fast-paced fads of social media don’t typically determine what exceptional high jewellers will produce, but it is safe to say the massive ‘quiet luxury’ trend has impacted all, from fashion brands to the Maisons of Place Vendôme. We wrote about the brands that epitomise this search for understated opulence, such as Vhernier, Dina Kamal and Anna Khouri. Generally, ‘quite luxury’ also has a paired-back, architectural feel, whereby the shape of metals and the placement of key stones are deceptively simple… only those ‘in the know’ will understand the craftsmanship behind them. This ‘if you know, you know’ mentality is also great for emerging designers, as purveyors of quiet luxury want to feel like they’ve discovered something no one else has. In 2024, this will also flourish through the vintage market, whereby luxury seekers will demonstrate their elevated tastes and eye for detail through signature heirlooms, whether from Hancocks, Jogani Gallery or the auction market.
The universe is all about balance, so it is hardly surprising that the opposite to quite luxury – opulent maximalism – must also exist! Pieces that fall under this umbrella are conversation-starting, eye-catching jewellery powerhouses that typically push the boundaries of transformability, shape and scale. Examples include creations by Fabio Salini, Lydia Courteille, Glenn Spiro, Taffin and Gucci, especially the latter’s new Allegoria High Jewellery collection. And we could go on… we fell in love with carved agate pieces by Neha Dani, we’re bowled over by the Boucheron More is More High Jewellery collection, and we couldn’t get enough of Nathalie Knauf’s signature style. For those who want to stand out from the crowd in 2024, this is the trend to investigate further.
Finally, let’s talk pearls! This year, pearls were expected to do more, say more, and hold their own against giants of the mineral world. A good example of this is the combination of Paraiba tourmaline and pearls in the Tasaki Nature’s Spectacle High Jewellery collection or the blend of three-dimensional whales, 40+ carat green tourmalines and pearls in the Mikimoto Praise to the Sea offering. This injection of personality into what is traditionally a quiet and understated jewellery category will no doubt continue into 2024, especially as shoppers discover the Assael NatureScapes collection and its blend of petrified wood, coral, jasper and metamorphic rock.
They say time flies when you’re having fun, and this is certainly the case when life is surrounded by beautiful jewellery. Although we can’t claim to have a crystal ball, these nuanced trend predictions are our best guess as to what will reign supreme in 2024. The only potential spanner in the works? Awards season, of course, including the Academy Awards, the MET Gala, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which are a fashion-forward extravaganza. We are waiting with bated breath to find out what’s in store.