Layering bracelets and gold cuffs can be a great way to hop on the maximalist trend Marina Woods for Varsity

It is the season to be heavy-handed, by which I mean flooding your fingers and wrists with bracelets and rings. It’s a look I embraced in primary school, when jewellery was against the dress code and I would compensate by stacking all my bangles together on weekends.

“Bursting through is a brighter mood for endorphin-boosting excess”

It appears the Succession-fuelled quiet luxury trend has passed. This season, designers are taking a different approach, attaching big jewels to rings and clusters of pearls to cuff bracelets. On the red carpet at the Academy Awards, stylists fashioned chains and discs into hand jewellery. There is also a harking back to childhood. As far back as Fall/Winter 2023, there was nostalgic eccentricity in the collection of everyday objects reimagined as sentimental jewellery.

Now, bursting through is a brighter mood for endorphin-boosting excess and colour-clashing maximalism. Bulgari’s high jewellery collection ‘Mediterranea’ is a celebration of colour, while Schiaparelli’s gilded bijoux are still essential to the identity of the house.

Jewellery is all about self-expressionMarina Woods for Varsity

Californian jeweller Lisa Eisner piles her jewellery on each morning, finding solace in the protective qualities of different stones. Speaking to Vogue, she explained: “Even more than clothes, I think jewellery is all about self-expression” and that the physical weight of her pieces is “like [her] armour”. This individualist expression is evident in street style too, with the advent of wild creations from jewellers such as Marco Panconesi and Hugo Kreit. The result? A pick-and-mix of clashing styles and colours, of beads and chains and of fashion and fine jewellery.

If I still haven’t convinced you of the maximalist jewellery trend, take a look at the armoured limbs of today’s celebrities – the cuff bracelets, mismatched rings and maximalist style of Rihanna at last year’s Met Gala, for example. To recreate this trend for yourself, here are a some essential pieces you should add to your jewellery box:

“With any combination of jewellery, it’s important to have a mix of sizes and textures”

A chunky arm cuff

With any combination of jewellery, it’s important to have a mix of sizes and textures. An open ended cuff is a clean base to build on and will usually be adjustable so you can loosen and tighten as needed.

A leather watch

These are a chic addition to any arm, a leather-and-pewter answer to the woven friendship bracelets of old. The material clashes well with metallic pieces without overdoing it.

A simple gold band

A plain ring will hug your knuckle on either side with a band of gold: a perfect template for you to stack on.

A gem encrusted ring

The key to successful layering is to incorporate one aspirational piece into an otherwise unpretentious mix. A thin band with gem detailing is up for the task, especially one with modern details that keep it fresh and stop it from reading as an engagement ring.

A mismatched metal piece

Whether you lean gold or silver, a modern stack involves a mix of metals.


Mountain View

How do fits fit into our cultures?

Lucia Silvestri, Bulgari’s creative director for jewellery, is a fan of the maximalist approach herself but concurs with Eisner that, regardless of your personal tastes, jewellery is all about self-expression. Speaking to Vogue, she said: “you can wear as much or as little as you want”.

So, whether you embrace the maximalist craze, dressing your wrists and fingers in clashing metals and gemstones, or stop at a simple bracelet or gold band, be sure it brings you joy. To quote the great Iris Apfel: “when the fun goes out of dressing, you might as well be dead”.