Statement earrings seem to have outsized themselves. The upholstery tassels, crystal cascades and oyster-sized pearls that have pained women’s earlobes over the last few years appear to be on the wane.
The gobstopper accessories arrived on the scene at a moment of peak Instagram influence, when fashionistas hoped the tiniest minutia of outfit details would translate on palm-sized phone screens.
The trend grew to encompass both the fine and costume jewelry categories, particularly taking off after Rebecca de Ravenel introduced her much-copied Bonbon style in 2015. A wedding-circuit mainstay for the last four summers, statement earrings have graced life-cycle event hashtags with rabid frequency and have held a constant presence with celebrities and magazines — making them one of the fashion trends that could define this era of dress.
This last summer, however, may have seen statement earrings exhaust the last of their oversized options — taking the shape of birdcages, enameled clown faces and life-sized lemons. The style has gradually begun evaporating from the runways and feels out of step with two of fall’s major women’s wear trends: too on-the-nose alongside the season’s Eighties puff-cream shoulders and too grandiose for a new batch of sharp, tailored separates.
The market has already begun reflecting statement earring fatigue. At the couture jewelry show in Las Vegas this spring, jewelers including Anita Ko, Sydney Evans and Tamara Comolli placed their emphasis on smaller stud earrings.
The focus appears to be shifting toward necklaces. Resortwear designer Joanna Ortiz, one of the statement earring’s biggest proponents, photographed her spring 2020 look book without an earring in sight — choosing an oversize shell necklace instead. Copenhagen — fashion’s new capital of whimsy — saw designer Stine Goya enlist candy-color beaded necklaces for her spring 2020 show. And Bottega Veneta, 1017 Alyx 9SM, Celine and Balenciaga all accessorized their fall shows with strong, chain necklace styles.