Trends rise from statement images from the red-carpet that spark our imagination, which are often followed by catwalk shows, multiplied by the pages of magazines, compounded by Instagram, and then, finally, they burst onto the streets of our cities as fully-fledged trends. To avoid being the last to know in this production line, I suggest you take a closer look at some of the innovative male looks from the most recent Cannes and Venetian film festivals, as well as the Met Gala 2021. You may argue that the latter is one of the most controversial red carpet shows, but it is precisely this format that allows guests to ‘forget’ about their preconceptions in favour of rule-free self-expression.
In 2021, three men’s trends really stood out: wearing a variety of necklaces, several rings at the same time, and large brooches (again sometimes two or three at a time). It’s safe to say that this year’s dazzling jewellery looks were preceded by a more muted style, usually limited to a brooch on a jacket lapel or a pearl necklace. But the thirst for self-expression and being seen again in public after the pandemic has made male actors, singers and public figures generally more daring in their jewellery choices.
NOT Your Grandma’s Brooches
If you still associate brooches with jewellery designed for older ladies, surrounded by old-fashioned paraphernalia, probably from the century before last… you are probably missing a trick! For several seasons now, both women and men have boldly toyed with this accessory. Brooches have migrated to men’s suits and there appears to be only one rule: there are no rules! Cartier’s new pal Timothée Chalamet chose a snow-white Haider Ackermann suit for his appearance at the Met Gala, which was adorned with a vintage Cartier New York Clinquet diamond pin and a star brooch. At the same event, rapper A$AP Rocky chose an imposing South Sea pearl and diamond jabot pin from Lang Antiques, while record producer Swizz Beatz chose a Dior and Peter Doig diamond brooch. Broadway actor Jeremy Pope accompanied a conceptual off-the-shoulder outfit by Australian designer Dion Lee with a cotton boutonniere flower by Denim Tears – I’m sure if a similar aesthetic were embodied using precious stones, it would have looked even better. Rewind to the Cannes Film Festival and there we saw French actor, Nicolas Maury, who made everyone gasp when he walked onto the red carpet in a classic black suit with a huge Boucheron fish brooch adorned with opal from the Holographique collection. Nicolas was also wearing a solo ear cuff from the same collection - a very unusual choice for a man.
A pearl necklace and moreFor many years we have only seen necklaces made for women; luxurious necklaces for men were only ever mentioned by fashion historians. Cyclical and capricious, fashion has gone through another life cycle and has once again returned to this forgotten trend. Chokers, rivière necklaces, tie necklaces and long threads: this year the assortment is richer than ever. Where men had previously been seen wearing pearl necklaces, at the Met Gala this year they mostly wore jewellery around their necks made of diamonds or coloured gemstones. Lil Nas X complemented what was in every sense a brilliant suit by Atelier Versace with a gold choker; American theatre producer Jordan Roth wore an amethyst Rene Boivin necklace from A La Vieille Russie in addition to a Lydia Courteille creation; singer Frank Ocean wore a diamond necklace from his new jewellery brand Homer; singer and producer Finneas Baird O’Connell sported a necklace from the Cartier [Sur] Naturel collection; Russell Westbrook showcased a gorgeous sapphire and diamond piece by Greg Yüna, and fashion designer Kerby-Jean Raymond donned a sautoir with rubies and diamonds by Shelley & Co. Both the necklace and brooch trends were combined by singer Leon Bridges wearing Panthère de Cartier and by comedian Pete Davidson who wore ruby and diamond necklaces by Fred Leighton and Kwiat alongside brooches with matching stones by Fred Leighton and Cartier.
In a previous article, I wrote about the fashion of wearing several mismatched rings together. And if this questionable trend was initially more noticeable among women, now it has moved on to men. Its great admirer is Timothée Chalamet, whose fingers were manifestly adorned with several Cartier rings at both the Cannes and Venice film festivals, and at the Met Gala this trend was followed by Shawn Mendes and Pete Davidson. Some musicians and actors have remained faithful to the tendency to wear just a single ring, but a large one and often with a stone in the centre. For example, American musician Finneas O’Connell wore a Cartier gold panther ring, and Pharrell Williams wore a ring with a large yellow diamond.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to those who chose to wear watches. Classic timepieces are quite a well-established phenomenon on a man’s wrist, but this year just blew my mind with all the bright, unique models on show. If up to this point you have never dared to wear a mini-galaxy made of precious stones or a miniature painting made of enamel – go for it, your time has come! This new trend already has the support of actor Simu Liu who was spotted wearing the Astronomia Solar Baguette watch by Jacob & Co. Elsewhere, Swizz Beatz was pictured wearing the Midnight Poetic Wish timepiece by Van Cleef & Arpels, which displays a romantic landscape with shooting stars over a Parisian sky, and the renowned stylist and publicist Law Roach has been seen wearing the Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold watch by Hublot.
If I were a gambler, I would bet on each of these trends! I am sure anyone who doubts me will soon see proof of my convictions on the red carpet in 2022.