Exclusive Trend Report from Hilary Alexander
The Daily Telegraph's Fashion Correspondent
In an autumn/winter 2012-13 season when many designers opted to show their collections pretty much bereft of embellishment, let alone jewellery - in order to focus all eyes on the clothes, shoes, sunglasses or bags - four shows stood out: Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin, and Alexander McQueen.
They were a dazzling reminder of just how important those gemstones and burnished metals play in completing the mood, adding the finishing touch, and releasing the fantasy within fashion.
Karl Lagerfeld’s showing for Chanel was a total jewel-box of wonderment, paraded within an organic setting of giant shards of crystal and amethyst. Everything glittered from the Lurex-tweeds in jewel tones, to the jewelled handbags and, even, the sequined eyebrows on the models. Agate, amethyst, azurite, black and cat’s eye tourmalines, Mexican bornite, garnet, moonstone, onyx, rock crystal, pink and all manner of quartz, shimmered like a treasure trove.
Huge stones twinkled on the cuffs which clasped the models’ wrists, and big rectangular stone and silver Tuareg-style pendants nestled around the necks of sweaters and jackets. Most astonishing were the giant, metal, ethnic-collars, pinioned with stones, suggesting a modernist interpretation of the Miao people, one of the minority tribes of China.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana turned their Dolce & Gabbana (pictured right) collection into a sumptuous, baroque banquet of jewelled splendour. Embroidered and beaded black lace and gilded brocade suits and dresses were accessorised with tiara-headbands, chokers, pendants, bangles and chandelier earrings, all glistening with gold, pearls, diamante and crystals.
At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton offset her winter-white and pastel, ‘Skaters’ Waltz’ collection with modernist roses and bows at the waist and neck, made from burnished, silver-plated brass; a metallic theme which was echoed in the silver floral, wrist-hand accessories in Stefano Pilati’s final collection for Yves Saint Laurent.
Alber Elbaz, celebrating his tenth anniversary at Lanvin (pictured right) – and celebrated for his extravagant ‘statement’ necklaces – did not disappoint.
He offset his embossed leather and fur, tightly-belted suiting, body-con dresses, and full-skirted taffeta trenches with multi-coloured crystal breastplate-pieces, and snarling tiger’s head pendants, worn with deliberately-contrasting, jewelled chandelier earrings.