The top jewellery trends of 2016
The creme de la creme of this year's accessories, from diamond ear cuffs to gem-embedded chokers
The scramble for Christmas gifts can usually be solved with an iconic piece of jewellery. And while nothing compares to the simplicity of a watch or an engraved pendant, the eccentricities of this year's jewellery trends might inspire you to think outside the box this season.
So, whether you're interested in stacked rings or hair jewels, below are some of the best beads and baubles to add just the right amount of glitz to your life this Christmas.
Ear and arm cuffs
A cuff can be worn in a variety of ways, which makes it the most diverse piece on this list. From ear cuffs to arm cuffs, there is little that cannot be achieved with the simplicity of this accessory.
Several celebrities have proved that diamonds truly are a girl's best friend, choosing to wear encrusted ear cuffs on the red carpet to add an elegant edge to an otherwise simple outfit. Gigi Hadid, Keira Knightley and Emma Watson have all shown that sometimes all you need is one sleek ear piece to make your entire ensemble pop.
Large metallic arm cuffs were all the rage on the Louis Vuitton catwalk during Paris Fashion Week in October. Models wore the chunky statement pieces alongside toned-down designs, a dazzling addition to the minimalist spring season collection.
Braid and beard cuffs
Cuffs have even been adapted into hair accessories, a development that has gained a strong following. While braid cuffs have been around for decades, the comeback of the box-braid hairstyle has resulted in a resurgence, with the likes of Zoe Kravitz, Solange Knowles and Zendaya opting to add some sparkle to their hair.
A more eccentric variation of the hair cuff is the beard cuff. Dedicated to "strong characters who express their individuality in eccentric yet sophisticated ways", these unique pieces of jewellery from Italian designer Krato Milano come in crystal collections and more. Hailed as the "Viking Beard" look, this particular trend has received a mixed response online. While the Daily Mail calls it a "hot new trend", GQ is adamant that it "should not be a thing". Krato Milano insists that it caters only to those "who want not only to stand out from the crowd, but also to be ahead of the crowd", so surely a few naysayers wouldn't dissuade potential shoppers from pre-ordering the new collection, which is out this week.
This 1990s fossil was reborn last year and slowly crept into mainstream fashion in 2016 with a modern twist on its classic black origin. From bold bejewelled pieces to thin, minimal lines, the choker is a necklace that can do it all. For an understated look, a thin black choker can add a dash of elegance to any minimal outfit, but for a bolder variation, a thick, gem-embedded choker could be the statement piece you need. Worn by Cara Delevingne and Sandra Bullock, it would be a difficult task to find someone who hasn't already tapped into this trend. As Cosmopolitan says: "Chokers are so hot right now."
The original way to stack midi-rings is to have a bold ring at the base of the finger, with the smaller, plain ones on top. Often sold in sets – such as this ALDO Astiradda Multipack – the pieces normally complement one another, a subtle but chic way of drawing attention to the hands.
However, the midi-ring has recently taken on an identity of its own. Rather than being sold in sets, individual midi-rings are designed with enough boldness to be worn alone.
Midi itself has been in for some time now, from body hugging midi-skirts to the camel-toned midi-coat. Ranging from geometric designs to elegant diamonds, these rings can shimmer their way into anyone's heart at Christmas.