From zodiac pendants to pearly earrings, we decode the emerging brands making the best jewellery right now.
Cult, cool, costume jewellery, is officially in. Our social media feeds are filled with all manner of stylish women sporting golden trinkets and pearlescent pieces, layered up or stacked, and usually worn with minimalist outfits.
Costume jewellery arguably came into its own with the launch of Alighieri, who put affordable luxury jewellery back on the map when it launched in 2014 — but it only came into the consciousness of the fashion industry a few seasons ago.
Such is its popularity, the London-based brand is now worth a reported £3.2 million. (With prices that average £200, that’s a lot of gold pendants sold.)
Today’s costume jewellery is distinct by its typically minimalist designs — Alighieri’s discoid pendants are understated, in the same way the Mumbai-based brand Misho’s are sculptural. The demi-fine jewellery category, where pieces are usually gold plated rather than solid gold, which keeps the price down while still being luxe, is booming. These brands focus on fun silhouettes and that make a statement, yet aren’t too bold to wear everyday.
Consider them sort of everyday investments — the fact they’re timeless and season-less means that cost per wear, they end up being a bit of a bargain.
From Alighieri to CompletedWorks, Stylist rounds up the best jewellery brands to know now.
London-based, Mumbai-born designer Suhani Parekh studied fine art at Goldsmiths in London where she focused mostly on sculpture — the medium remains prevalent in her jewellery today.
With clean architectural lines and a yellow-gold finish, these pieces are stylish yet personal; her best-selling lines are the zodiac pendants, where star signs are embossed onto hammered gold pendants (Pisces pictured above), and the alphabet range.
Zodiac pendant, £142, Misho
Loved by everyone from Emma Watson to basically every fashion editor in the industry, CompletedWorks is a British jewellery brand inspired by the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth — designer Anna Jewsbury grew up near the Barbara Hepworth museum in Yorkshire.
Playing with form and fluidity, we love the poetic silhouette of these tangled earrings, which are sold as a pair and are asymmetrical. Pair with all manner of crisp white shirts.
Wild Relatives earrings, £195, CompletedWorks
Inspired by Dante’s epic poem the Divine Comedy, Alighieri was founded by London-based Rosh Mahtani and each piece is inspired by the Italian poet’s literature. Cast in wax, these molten lava-style pendants, earrings and adornments are textured and look like something that might have been discovered in an archaeological dig, rather than purchased from a shiny e-commerce site.
Crafted in Hatton Garden in London and named after sections of the poem, Mahtani’s pieces are designed to be modern heirlooms — affordable pieces with meaning, to be worn forever.
The Scattered Decade Chapter II, £115, Alighieri
Snaking around a single ear like a sculptural serpent, this Elia earring by Berlin-based brand Anne Manns is the most understated, statement piece of them all. Handcrafted in her Berlin workshop, the former fashion designer takes inspiration from art and architecture for her contemporary jewellery pieces that comprise rings shaped like peapods and uneven, globular ear cuffs — we suggest adorning one ear by pairing a cuff with the swirly Elia earring for maximum effect.
Elia earring, £280, Anne Manns
Inspired by abstract shapes and fluid lines and the sculptures of Romanian and Swiss artists Constantin Brancusi and Alberto Giacometti, Paris-based jewellery designer Charlotte Chesnais is a minimalist’s dream.
Founded in 2015, her architectural jewellery pieces regularly blend metals — a brand signature — and mix forms like swirls with sharp lines to create a trinket that looks like wearable art. We love this Triptych ring — it looks like a stack but isn’t.
Charlotte Chesnais Triptych ring, £494, Farfetch