April 01 2011
Lucia van der Post
Almost all the fashion brands these days have cottoned on to the charms of dangling what you might call dress-specific jewellery in front of their customers’ susceptible eyes. These are the pieces that just “make” the dress, which were made with a particular dress in mind. The jewellery might echo or complement the colours, it might be of a shape and texture that enhances the neckline and highlights its virtues. Without the baubles, the outfit would be a poorer thing.
For a while now, Lanvin has been creating a delicious series of pearls on velvet ribbons that are chicer than any zillion-dollar diamond number. And Burberry, Marni and Louis Vuitton have been creating pieces that perfect an outfit, like the polish on the shoe, the shine on the hair.
This jewellery is bold, decorative and more likely to be made of Perspex (bracelets by Burberry, from £125) or cloth and metal (Marni) than something precious. The downside is that it is expensive for what is essentially costume jewellery, but on the upside, at its best it is highly decorative, as pretty in its way as its loftier cousins.
This season Louis Vuitton has come up with a humdinger of a collection of what it calls its Fashion Jewellery. It is playful, joyful and charmingly pretty. The influences are art deco in the form of bold black-and-white sculpted cuffs and horn-shaped earrings, and 1960s colour, which pops up boldly in the Eye Candy collection in particular.
Of the four design themes in the range (Damier Perle, Eye Candy, Cosmopolitan and Tropical Cocktail), my favourites by quite a long way are Damier Perle, which is a charming collection of “gold” chains and grey-tinged pearls – choose from a necklace (£905), a pendant (£325), bracelet (second picture, £325) or earrings (£255); and Cosmopolitan, which has great gorgeous oblongs of coloured stones. There’s a necklace with five “jewels” in green, red, purple and yellow (first picture, £940), some gob-smackingly bright “jewelled” earrings (third picture, £270) and some delicious little rings (£240 for a stack of three). But there are pieces to go with all the other looks in the spring/summer collection – long tasselled earrings (second picture, £725) for the Chinoiserie look, sweet flower-shaped baubles on chains (Eye Candy necklace, third picture, £905), on bracelets (£355), on earrings (£255-£450) and on rings (£325).
Bracelets are a key part of the Fashion Jewellery collection – there’s a Louis Vuitton Lock Me bracelet with a brass lock in black or tortoise resin (£325), while the Tropical Cocktail bracelets (first picture, £200), in coloured resin embellished with classic Louis Vuitton motifs, are an updated version of a perennial favourite.