By Janet Kelly
JEWELRY has become a tad too dainty—delicate necklaces, slender bracelets and tiny earrings—in the past few years. But the fashion barometer is reading “changes ahead.” Because in stressful times—the overturning of Roe v. Wade, climate change, equal rights and civil rights threatened—women want to feel tough, wearing something that shows the world they’re strong.
Remember ’70s Wonder Woman Lynda Carter repelling bullets with her cuffs? Gal Gadot, who starred in the role most recently, wears her Tiffany Bone cuffs offscreen; tennis champ Venus Williams wore hers to the 2022 Oscars. And meanwhile, bold cuffs and bangles are edging out their slimmer brethren on sites like Net a Porter and Farfetch.
Surprise! Not. Many of the designers of these bracelets are women, including Lizzie Fortunato, Marie Gas, creative director of Gas Bijoux; Roxanne Assoulin and Regitze Overgaard of Georg Jensen. And, of course, the incomparable Elsa Peretti.
Below, our picks for statements of strength.
LEFT: In 1974, Elsa Peretti joined Tiffany to give silver jewelry a cool remake. Among the items in her first collection was her curvy, bold Bone Cuff. The small version (33mm wide) is $1,350; the medium (61mm wide) is $1,650. An investment for sure, but a classic, seen on the wrists of powerful women like Diana Ross, Grace Jones, et. al.
RIGHT: Alexis Bittar’s 14k gold-plated brass Ribbon Cuff Bracelet (2.6 inches wide) also makes a powerful statement—for less. It’s $325.
LEFT: When one’s not enough, stack ’em up. Gas Bijoux does it for you with its Summer cuffs —two (each with a width of 1.8 centimeters) polished resin bangles, inspired by the movement of waves and embellished with gold-plated chains. The set is $295.
RIGHT: For a fond memory of summer camp’s arts and crafts days, pile on Roxanne Assoulin’s enamel-coated Rainbow Brite Bracelets. Mix and match styles like Block Party, Bit by Bit and Somewhere Over the Rainbow as in this set of three ($210). Or create your own version with singles that ring in at $75 each.
LEFT: Elyce Arons keeps the vintage-modern spirit of Kate Spade alive at Frances Valentine. FV designs are never shy and retiring. I rest my case with this shimmery, shiny Sapphire Crystal Cuff ($528).
RIGHT: Want to feel tough and protected? Slip on this cuff from British luxury brand Halcyon Days. Hand-painted and mounted with 18kt gold-plated rims, it measures 40mm in width and is $675.. If we had to guess what those fierce leopards were saying, it would be, “Don’t mess with me.”
LEFT: Who needs a prince when you’ve got a crystal frog? The almost 2-inch wide, 24kt-gold vermeil cuff from Istanbul designer Begüm Khan is embellished with a toad in pavé-set zironcia crystals and bezel-set green crystals for eyes. It sells for $900 at Matches Fashion.
RIGHT: The Hermès enamel bracelet, featuring Hermès scarf prints, made its debut in 1976. New Hermès enamel bangles appear every season and still use scarves as inspiration. The Drôles de Zèbres print bangle ($580) with rose gold-plate comes in two summery pastel colors.
LEFT: In Scandinavian designer’s Regitze Overgaard Curve collection for Georg Jensen, two sterling silver curves meet with a contrasting sharp line in a sculptural bangle that wraps around the wrist. The medium-size silver Curve bangle sells for $795; the medium-size 18k gold and sterling silver Curve bangle sells for $5,235.
RIGHT: Pearl Octopuss.y is an Oslo-based jewelry brand whose customers have a soft spot for the eccentric and the bold. The brand’s La Mer bracelet is strung with gold and silver-plated rondelles on a flexible aluminum wire that coils around the wrist. Blue crystals interspersed with iridescent stones lead to two oversize faux pearls. It sells for $400 at Net a Porter.
LEFT: Whether you wear it by its lonesome or stacked, Lizzie Fortunato’s resin Arc Cuff ($195 ) in juicy limoncello for summer will look stellar on your wrist. (It also comes in lemon, apricot, persimmon, caramel, indigo and clear.)
RIGHT: I like wearing all white during the summer but sometimes I feel like the Good Humor man. Is he around anymore? Anyway, what I’m getting at is that all-white needs a colorful accent. This turquoise dotted bee is a friendly one but nevertheless grabs your attention. The white enamel and light antique gold hinged bracelet is $250 from Kenneth Jay Lane.
ABOVE: Multifaceted crystals in iridescent colors fit together to form Swarovski’s kaleidoscopic Curiosa bangle. Wear it by itself or stack with coordinating pieces from the brand’s Collection 1. It sells for $400.
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