Much like fashion trends, jewellery styles come and go based on season and occasion. Statement pieces dominate one year, while understated pieces are in vogue the next; some outfits call for chandelier earrings, others a neck draped with diamonds. One thing that remains constant, though, is jewellery’s unparalleled ability to pull a look together.
This year, too, brings with it an updated set of guidelines, which will influence what we wear and how we wear it. For 2019, jewellery looks like it's going to be big – in every sense of the word. It's the season to be flamboyant, and more is more when it comes to styling your accessories in 2019.
'It’s all about colourful, bold, oversized statement jewellery'
"This season it's all about piling up, it's about layering," says Sheikha Mariam Khalifa, founder of MKS jewellery and granddaughter of President Sheikh Khalifa. Her new collection, which launched at Bloomingdale's Dubai, is full of styles designed to be worn together, from origami necklaces that can be piled together, to gemstone rings that combine to create a cluster of rich colour. It's up to you how big a statement you want to make.
"This season, there's no more dainty 'everyday' jewellery; it's all about colourful, bold, oversized statement jewellery," Sheikha Mariam says. "Hoops are also back this season, bigger and bolder, along with the ear cuff." She says that if you invest in one key piece this season, it should be a pair of hoop earrings. "They are a classic for women of all ages, they always look good and never go out of style," she says.
Back to the the 1990s: throwback trend
As with a lot of this season's fashion looks, jewellery has dipped back into the style of the 1990s, to reincarnate the name charm. While it might throw up images of Velcro-strap bracelets that you and your friends had as children, you only need look to the runways to see how they have had a high-fashion update. Chanel debuted charm logo earrings spelling out the brand's name, with three syllables in each ear, while Balenciaga showcased name charm necklaces. "This is a trend with limitless options that you can make your own," Sheikha Mariam says. "It's a great way to personalise your jewellery and create your own story."
Style with sentiment
Another trend doing the rounds is jewellery for children, with brands such as Istana, Baby Fitaihi and La Marquise creating lines for little ones. "We've noticed more customers coming in for men's jewellery, such as bracelets, cufflinks and buttons, as well as jewellery for babies and children," confirms Roxanne Mukhi from Istana, a multi-brand jeweller based in Dubai.
Jewellery, she explains, has been a traditional gift for newborns in many cultures, given for decorative purposes and as a token to protect against evil spirits. After seeing the trend beginning to re-emerge, and spurred on by the birth of her niece, Leila, Mukhi decided to launch Istana’s baby collection, named in the infant’s honour. “It’s the perfect homage to my niece. The pins are made from 18K pink and white gold, and the various styles feature pink or blue enamel and diamonds,” she says.
Look for timeless, ethical pieces
While mixed coloured gemstones will come into their own this year, diamonds will remain a girl's best friend. When asked about her tip for the best jewellery investment, Mukhi says: "Diamonds – one carat and above. They are timeless."
However, she adds: “All gemstones are beautiful in their own way. You should look for natural stones, whether precious or semi-precious. You can get a diamond that has a perfect cut, but not all diamonds are [good-quality], and the same goes with other stones, too.”
While natural stones may be a smart investment financially, the need for ethically sourced gemstones positions itself high on the agenda for 2019, in an increasingly eco-aware society. More and more jewellers have been investing in creating lab-grown diamonds, and this market was given a huge boost last year thanks to updated guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission.
“The Commission no longer defines a ‘diamond’ by using the term ‘natural’ because it is no longer accurate,” the new guidelines state. “It is now possible to create products that have essentially the same optical, physical and chemical properties as mined diamonds.”
One of the brands at the forefront of ethically sourced fine jewellery is Brilliant Earth. Founded in 2005, the jeweller works to ensure its diamonds are ethically mined, investing 5 per cent of profits back into mining communities, as well as focusing on elevating the lab-grown diamond market. Brilliant Earth expects there to be a huge surge in lab-grown engagement rings in 2019. “They are sustainable diamonds that have minimal environmental impact,” says a representative.
The perfect engagement ring
As to engagement-ring styles, Brilliant Earth says: “Oval and pear-shaped rings were particularly popular this past year, [but] we anticipate seeing more interest in cushion-cut diamonds in 2019.”
Yellow gold is officially on the rise, as well, with many making a moving away from platinum and white gold settings that have reigned supreme in recent years. The single-stone ring is also being overtaken by three-stone designs, which could be thanks to the engagement ring Prince Harry designed for Meghan Markle. Brilliant Earth recommends fancy-shaped and unique accent gemstones, including baguettes, trillions and pears.
Finally, while you may take your cues from trends and fads aside, heed Mukhi’s advice when she says: “Above all, you have to be in love with a [jewel] – if it speaks to your eyes and soul, then it’s a good piece for you.”