It was a season of juxtaposition at the fall/winter 2023/2024 runway shows in New York and across the pond in London, Milan and Paris, where jewelry had a starring role on the catwalk and sparkle was in the spotlight. The runways highlighted looks meant to send us fully back out into the world looking totally fabulous. Tailoring and elegance, with an eye to dressing for a return to the office and elevating one’s look were central themes of the season. And what elevates a look more than an extraordinary piece (or two or three) of vintage jewelry?
Much of the jewelry that was trending on the runway are the same styles that we’ve been wearing for the past couple of seasons, but they’ve become more firmly established. If you like to start planning your wardrobe well in advance, you’ll have plenty of time to track down some bejeweled vintage treasures to add to your outfits when the weather cools back down, or better yet, to wear now.
If there is one thing that never goes out of style it’s pearls and these ocean treasures are having even more of a moment than usual, especially the classic pearl strand, which has evolved into an accessory that anyone can wear. Leather — especially in black — was ubiquitous on the runways. Try pairing a leather jacket with pearls for a fresh take on both, or wear them in a more traditional way — peeking out of the collar of a blouse. Designers sent plenty of office ready suits down the runways and pearls are always beautifully understated for work. There were also abundant punk references on the catwalks and pearls are easily intertwined in these rebel looks, especially when mixed — in an artfully messy way — with other necklaces. Add any pearl necklace to one of the many etheric slip dresses shown during fashion month to create a boudoir perfect look.
The Brooch Is Back
Great news: The brooch is back. According to Vogue Magazine, “Brooches are quickly becoming the coolest piece of jewelry to have in your repertoire.” One fabulous brooch can become a signature piece that you can wear in as many ways as you can imagine. Pin a brooch to a hat, or beret for every day, or wear it in your upswept hair for a cocktail party. Wear a brooch on the lapel of a blazer or outerwear coat, especially the maxi length that is trending for fall. A brooch will add another layer of sophistication to the meticulous tailoring and 1980s inspired power shoulder, pin-striped suits that came down the catwalks. You can also use a brooch as a way to hold an oversized wrap in place. Ties were shown on multiple runways with slouchy jackets and big trousers. Pin a brooch to the tie for a little unexpected shimmer and shine.
Gold in all its glory was all over the runways. It was found in clothes as well as jewelry, where large gold pieces were an important accessory. Oversized gold chain link necklaces and bracelets were shown, but most important were gold earrings for daywear. Chunky huggies, hoop and button earrings in gleaming gold are all on trend. Big gold jewelry — the kind where you only need one piece — also works really well with the resurrected from the ‘90’s minimalist styles that were favored for the season. Camel and gray, along with black, were the most important neutrals for fall/winter 2023/2024 and the warmth of yellow gold harmonizes with those hues. The one standout color for the season was red. It featured in almost all of the shows either as an accent or more often worn monochromatically and gold is stunning with this vibrant hue. While minimalist looks and sharp tailoring were one look for the season, the runways were still filled with voluminous cocooning clothes and voluptuous gold jewelry is the perfect accompaniment.
Why keep your best jewels for special occasions? The upcoming fall/winter 2023/2024 season gives us permission to wear our blingiest jewels anytime, anywhere. That big diamond bracelet that’s been hiding in the back of your jewelry box can come out to play during the day, at work or for social events. Black is having another comeback moment (not that it ever really went away) and it’s always the perfect backdrop for jewelry. Wear a black pencil skirt — another popular runway item — with a black sweater or jacket and add a gemstone necklace for a pop of glam. Wear your diamond or colored gemstone jewelry with your sweater dresses and other knits, or anything denim and you’ll be the coolest and chicest person in the room.
The fall/winter 2023/2024 runways showcased fashions that are moving us back into a daily life that includes office time and nights out on the town. Be ready with a vintage jewelry wardrobe that adds glamour, sophistication and a touch of playfulness to your personal style.
Featured image (top of page): Starfish brooch in 18-karat yellow gold, platinum, diamonds and rubies, courtesy Kentshire Galleries (@kentshire).
Authored by Amber Michelle