Back to Nature: Rugged Jewellery is all the Rage
Gone are the days when people yearned for a perfectly-formed dainty piece of jewellery. These days, in a fashion world inspired by bohemia and the desire to be “unique”, people are turning instead to naturally formed materials that convey a sense of spiritualism and earthy charm. The trend for “New Age” jewellery is aimed at the fashion-conscious young consumer and features layered, bulky and rugged pendants, chains and beads. Jewellery design is taking on new levels of originality and “soul”, presenting a new “maximalist” trend where asymmetry, mis-matching and layering are all prevalent. Precious stones, gems, crystals and feathers, as well as leather, rope and aged metal are all used to create a unique sense of imperfection.
Crystals – with their many jagged shapes and unique formations – are an integral part of this new jewellery design trend; no two crystals can ever naturally be the same. These rugged crystals are often paired with other naturally inspired materials such as brown worn leather, treated wood and even flowers. The unique pieces are then combined with precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum to add that luxurious edge.
Bohemia is the buzz word, and these aesthetics are combined with fine top-end design to create jewellery that is more akin to art; a type of dishevelled luxury that is geared towards the young and trendy. Examples of this ever popular trend are apparent in both emerging and well established brands. One such brand is Dreams of Norway. The Norwegian jewellery designers are inspired by the country’s harsh and beautiful wilderness, fusing soft colours with rugged and sharp shapes and textures. The brand uses locally sourced natural materials such as native crystals, wood, stone and even animal horn to reflect the weathered feel of the vast Norwegian outdoors. Each unique piece of the jewellery range – which includes necklaces, bracelets, rings and even body harnesses – is handmade by a member of the design team, in order to give customers a sense of owning something that nobody else can ever replicate.
Inspired by travel
Australia based Maripossa was created when founder, Lauren Besser, got back from his travels through Central and South America and Africa. He felt inspired by the sights and materials he encountered on his trips, and decided to make a range of jewellery that encompassed the natural beauty of the countries he visited. Featuring natural silver and crystals, each of his beautiful pieces bares its own shape, colour and size. The crystals are cut and dyed by hand in order to make each one extra special and personalised. Besser’s avoids symmetry to create an intended lack of perfection in his designs and also uses his signature web-style woven silver pendants and chains.
Authenticity and intrigue
One particularly unique designer is New Zealand-based Anna Ross, and her label, Kester Black. Instead of the typical sparkling finish epitomised by most crystal pieces, Anna’s crystals are purposely given a matted and scratched finish, making them appear dark, but with hints of deep fluorescent colour. The rock-styled crystals are designed to give off an air of mysteriousness and intrigue, their unique appearance almost startling to the eye. The Kester Black range of crystal pendants are then moulded into chunky shapes and paired with fine distressed silver chains or rings. Anna Ross’ range of eye-catching designs pay homage to the current trend for mythical and tribal authenticity that is becoming increasingly popular.
The trend for naturally-sourced and rugged jewellery is apparent throughout both high end and high street fashion. However, it is particularly prevalent in the luxury sector, due to the high cost of sourcing real crystals, precious metals and leather, coupled with the high production cost of handmade pieces. Due to their individuality, they are also, unfortunately, more attractive to thieves. When building such an impressive and personal collection of jewellery, it is important to protect it. One is encouraged to protect from theft when buying high-end pieces like the ones mentioned above by seeking out a specialist insurance package that is tailored towards high-end jewellery ownership. The downside of losing jewellery pieces like this is that they are very often one-of-a-kind works of art that are very hard to replace; to protect from loss, make sure you keep detailed records and photographs of your jewellery collection should you be unfortunate enough to lose any of it.