Dotted around the show space of JW Anderson’s collection for Loewe in Paris were six monumental silver and gold sculptures by the 81-year-old American artist Lynda Benglis. They were great swirling molten masses of bronze-based metal whose shapes were echoed in the impressive cuffs accessorising Loewe’s spring 2024 collection.
These fine jewelry cuffs, works of art in themselves, were a leitmotif for jewelry at the Paris spring collections, as extreme cuffs proved the accessory of the season. Schiaparelli, not shy in the scale and shiny brightness of their gold jewelry in the creative hands of Daniel Roseberry, featured Brancusi-esque sculptural cuffs that were in fact (for weight) gilded ceramic. Saint Laurent’s famous 1967 saharienne collection was updated for the house by current designer Anthony Vacarello who added bold gold and silver bangles slipped over gauntlets. Together with giant door-knocker earrings and slick 1980s hair and maquillage Vacarello created a polished vision of Parisian glamour.
Bold metal bangles and cuffs (above) have been a feature of catwalk shows for the past few seasons, although the sizes and sculptural shapes add a new dimension to the look. Emefa Cole’s pair of spectacular gold cuffs (above), created for actress Michaela Coel’s appearance at the Met Gala earlier this year, are 18ct SMO matt gold and share the same organic sculptural quality as the artier pieces on the catwalk. Elsa Peretti’s highly polished Bone cuff for Tiffany & Co expresses the same sculptural quality as catwalk designs, while Ute Decker’s huge swirling mass of brushed silver and gold ribbons shaped into cuffs are an airier way of turning a wrist into a statement.
Buccelatti’s rigato engraved cuffs with their silky finish elevates this catwalk look to high jewelry as do Dior’s lattice cuffs. However, it is possible to get the catwalk vibe with the beautifully textured gold cuffs from Robinson Pelham and jewelry craftswoman Nina Bukvic whose hand-woven cuffs begin as gold wires and chains melted and fused together before the weaving process. Robinson Pelham’s Galaxy cuff meanwhile is beautifully grained gold and dotted with diamonds. These designs echo the armbands and cuffs that climbed the arms of models at Rabanne, not as extreme as the artworks at Loewe and Schiaparelli, but very wearable.
The rare 1970s 18ct gold Georges Lenfant cuff from his ‘Optical’ collection, at Hancocks, where the gold mesh is hammered in a wave formation, highlights another point. Vintage 1970s and 80s gold jewellery, when bold bangles were all the rage, are also great hunting ground for some wrist action for summer 2024.
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