Runway Report: Spring 2013
Bold metal and brightly colored beads among season’s top trends
Fashion makes an about-face this season, reversing its direction from fall 2012’s theatrical flourishes toward wearable clothes that are practically styling-free. Clean, simple black-and-white makes a statement, often organized into today’s new prints and patterns—squares and stripes—flaunting a ’60s vibe that permeates throughout collections from mod to Bohemian. Equally effortless are floaty fashions in chiffons and satins that swirl around the body in sherbert shades.

The suit is also in the spotlight, featuring everything from patchwork-leather jackets, low-slung skirts and cropped tops to a super-luxe tuxedo silhouette. And there are plenty of architectural ruffles that frame the face or spiral off the hips, acting as their own accessory, suggesting, as with much of this season’s fashion, that you resist the urge to pile them on. There are, however, several jewelry trends that emerged from the runways, each one as statement-making as its couture counterpart.

Here are some of spring 2013’s top fashion trends and the jewelry that coincides.  

Spring often makes its incarnation in fashion through a dazzling array of jeweled flora and fauna, and this season is no exception.

Sarah Burton, in her bee-inspired collection for Alexander McQueen, used tortoiseshell chokers and cuffs crawling with jeweled bees as a finishing touch to beekeeper-inspired headpieces, honeycomb-patterned pantsuits and pannier-type gowns blooming with fabric flowers. At Gucci, silk flounce dresses in dahlia prints were topped with chandelier earrings and statement necklaces dripping with jewel-toned crystal flowers, while Oscar de la Renta softened pencil-skirted suits and black-and-white-striped ball gowns with chrysanthemum brooches and shiny-petaled gardenia necklaces.

Roberto Cavalli, meanwhile, showcased his penchant for animal prints in fluid silk ensembles emboldened with rhinestone-studded tigers wrapped around wrists, necks and the outskirts of the ear. Kenzo followed suit, pairing jungle and leopard prints with leopard-paw pendants on brass neck rings.

Get ready to gear up this spring in bold metal pieces with minimal detail.

At Balmain, oversized, silver hoop earrings were the accessory of choice for harlequinesque jumpsuits, spray-on skinny jeans and mini dresses formed from basketry, crystals and white lace. Diane Von Fürstenberg also chose hoops—hers super-sized creoles in metallic hues—to create the look of an “aristocratic dreamer with the polish of a princess and the heart of a gypsy.”

Raf Simons made his ready-to-wear debut at Dior decorating belling-skirted coatdresses with baroque-style bib necklaces dotted with colorful crystal flowers. Lanvin accessorized variations on the little black dress and tuxedo pantsuit with gold torque-like necklaces and cuffs. Dries van Noten selected silver necklaces of hefty chain or coils in his homage to plaid and 90s grunge. And Givenchy contrasted light and airy flounce dresses in black, white and sky blue with chokers of gold, clear plexiglass or wood edged in gleaming metal.

Balenciaga went a lighter route, matching flamenco-style skirts and cropped tops with dainty chain necklaces weighted with tiny charms, adding wide gold bands on each finger, knuckle duster-style.

Jewelry centered on fringe and tassels is also popular this season, as designers incorporated the ornamental border or dangling ornament into earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings.

For Nina Ricci’s highly eroticized collection, metallic fringe necklaces that skim the waist and layered chains were set against black harnesses, fishnet tops and swishing fringe dresses, while Versace’s flyaway tie-dyed-silk dresses shimmered with metallic fringe earrings, bib necklaces, bracelets and belts. Kenzo, in turn, rimmed leopard-skin-patterned cuffs and rings with matching fringe.

Hedi Slimane, in his debut as creative director of womenswear for Saint Laurent (formerly YSL), added a touch of sparkle to rock-chic wide-brimmed hats, expertly tailored short jackets, skinny pants and billowy chiffon gowns with tasseled metal pendants. In a similar fashion, Rachel Zoe accented black-and-white pantsuits and SoCal-vibe jumpsuits and maxi dresses with tasseled, gold-rope lariat necklaces.

You could almost hear Frank Sinatra singing “Baubles, Bangles & Beads” from the musical Kismet, as models paraded down the runways at several of the season’s shows bedecked in big, beautiful beads.

Dolce & Gabbana gave us their vision of Sicily by incorporating elements of its coastal Taormina culture: tunic tops and balloon shorts striped with tomato red and ultramarine blue; sundresses emblazoned with vividly colored, folkloric images; short skirts, brassiere tops, corsets and crinolines showcasing the elaborate straw and raffia work of the region; and large multicolored earrings mixing beads, resin, pompoms, gold coins and raffia.

Statement earrings were also in vogue at Etro, where hand-painted floral prints in kimono and judo-suit forms were embellished with monochromatic chandelier-style earrings in boldly colored beads. Cuffs featuring raw gems added textural contrast.

Tory Burch combined American classicism (think wheat-printed silk faille frocks) with global accents such as tie-dyed dresses from Guinea, slippers from Morocco and navel-grazing necklaces composed of such eclectic elements as cotton tassels, puka shells and distressed-mirror disks.

Ralph Lauren, meanwhile, referenced Spain and the U.S. Southwest with matador-type outfits in scarlet and turquoise, fringed leather pants, serapes and colorful glass-bead jewelry. And Chanel placed white, transparent and metal “pearls” the size of golf balls on everything from mesh bolero jackets to cotton tweed “skirt dresses” (skirts hiked up to form strapless dresses), as well as in clusters around the neck and wrists.


Whether stacked or solo, the bracelet is an important accessory this spring. Designers wrapped wrists in an assortment of shapes, colors, textures and widths to further their fashion story or to add a highlight to the collection.  

For the warm-weather months, Céline continues to employ minimalist accessories for her impeccably cut couture, pairing cream silk tops and black charmeuse trousers, for instance, with artfully knotted bracelets in pale-blue and black lambskin. Leather expert Hermès showed boxy tops and short shorts in colored crocodile chiffre with graphic metal bracelets styled over leather gloves. And Chloé combined white ruffled jumpsuits the length of Bermuda shorts and sleeveless black dresses with gold cuffs centered by a ball of red jasper or onyx.

Missoni, meanwhile, created a 3-D effect with its clothes, floating printed organza over knit dresses in the same pattern. Additional optical tricks came courtesy of bracelets composed of plexiglass crystals and fumé tips, mainly in light red and mint green. And finally, Fendi gave us one of the most striking graphic statements of the season, presenting a marquetry of fur and fabric framed with black or colored borders and layered in different lengths to show three-dimensionality. Stacked bangles, alternating between understated and illustrative, echoed the collection’s patchwork.
Picchiotti Italy
Palmiero Italy
Carlo Barberis
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