So far, we’ve described the runways as very serious and reserved, but the fall 2020 accessory trends bucked the attitude, instead imbuing the fashion collections with more intensity. All it takes is the right accessory to totally transform an outfit, after all.
As with other seasons, the fall 2020 jewelry trends featured some pieces that were simply glamorous, including jewel cascades, chandelier earrings, an abundance of pearls, and lots of more sculptural pieces made of thick but extra shiny precious metals.
We also noticed a particular whimsy or duality in some of the winter 2020 accessories, like pearls matched to industrial chains, over-the-top earrings reserved to one ear or designed to convey a story, and costume jewelry.
Finally, there was also a return to trends that we glimpsed in the last season, like chains, animal motifs, and so many pearls. Which of the fall/ winter 2020-2021 accessory trends are you most excited for?
Fall/ Winter 2020-2021 Jewelry Trends
#1. Chains on Chains
Chains were a major motif in the jewelry from spring, and the fall/ winter 2020 jewelry trends are no different! This time the chains felt even more fitting to go with a season that was touched by a lot of industrial elements. These chains were heavy-duty, but not as rugged or punk as in the previous season.
We saw matching sets at Chloé in the form of a choker and bracelet set made of thick, chunky chains in a dark silver shade. Gold was the color of choice at Off-White, where chain links for necklaces and bracelets had a slightly more conceptual shape that gave a slightly skewed shape.
Marine Serre, Sacai, Rokh, Bottega Veneta, and a ton of others also presented chain jewelry this season, making it our top fall 2020 accessory trend!
#2. Pearls on Chains
There was a second chain-related fall 2020 jewelry trend: the combination of more industrial chains with delicate and feminine pearls.
This odd combination worked well on the contradictory Moschino runway, with pearl rope necklaces and heavy-duty chains layered together. The combo was less jarring at Chanel and Koché, where gold chains felt more luxurious and decadent, which fit in better with the pearly touches.
#3. Unique Pearls
Like diamonds or crystals, pearls are as timeless a jewel embellishment as can be. Beyond classic looks or chain combinations, the fall 2020 jewelry trends also featured other truly unique pearl-related accessories.
Pearls were used in purposefully mishmashed designs at Prabal Gurung, where they were threaded into oddly shaped earrings and often worn over the ear instead of through the lobe. Pearls of various sizes added an organic touch to delicately wrapped gold chokers at Adeam for a look that was simultaneously elegant yet unique.
We saw more creative pearl jewelry at Jil Sander, Giambattista Valli, Moschino, Shrimps, and Simone Rocha.
#4. Jewel Cascades
One of the most glamorous jewelry trends was jewel cascades, which included all kinds of pieces made of rows upon rows of gem-covered mesh or chains.
First of all, everyone noticed the crystal-studded headpiece wrapped to look like a headscarf that opened up the Area show. We also appreciated long, cascading earrings paired with a headband covered in square crystals at Gucci that had a continuous, flowing effect.
Finally, at Off-White, extra-long X and O earrings draped down to the shoulders, reminding us of last season’s shoulder grazers. Each earring was made of a row of white circles with a gem embedded in their center.
#5. Colorful Costume Jewelry
A few designers decided to play with the question of what’s really expensive, by using colorful costume jewelry to make dramatic and slightly ridiculous creations for the fall/ winter 2020 jewelry trends.
Chokers at Anna Sui were made of black leather or fabric, with costume jewelry pendants in various colors hanging down from them.
At Chanel, everything from bracelets to earrings to necklaces was decorated with multi-color costume gems in some truly outrageous shade combinations like pink, green, and burgundy – yes, all on one piece! We spotted more costume jewelry at Brandon Maxwell, Off-White, and Mugler.
There was a fair bit of fringe on the runway, which was echoed by the jewel fringe-adorned fall 2020 accessories.
The fringe at Prada wasn’t overly luxe-looking. The trend was represented in colorful and playful chokers made of thin, metallic leather from which a pastel-colored beaded fringe descended over the chest.
In contrast, the fringe at Paco Rabanne was as extra as can be, decorating the edges of metallic scarves and headwraps. We spotted more fringe jewelry and accessories at Celine, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
#7. Animal Jewelry
If you’re the kind of person who likes to have fun with their jewelry, we think you’ll enjoy the animal-related fall 2020 jewelry trends. Despite the playful shapes, these designs were just as glamorous as anything else that made an appearance on the runways.
Dangerous scorpions roamed the Balmain runway in the form of crystal-studded jewelry, including earrings and chokers. At Giambattista Valli, it was all about the crystal-studded snake chokers instead.
Stella McCartney and Lanvin both presented monkey-themed jewelry. At the latter, we saw large, golden monkey brooches decorating the lapels of a coat, while at the former, monkeys showed up in gold, dangling from earrings.
We saw more animal motifs at Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, and Chloé.
#8. Feeling Handsy
There is something mystical and special about jewelry shaped to look like hands. For instance, we spotted necklaces at Nicole Miller decorated with multiple charms of the “hamsa,” an ancient protective amulet from the Middle East that is shaped like a hand with an eye at its center.
At Valentino, it looked as though hands made of gold were either protecting or trying to steal the central jewel on a necklace. Lastly, at Victoria Beckham, a gorgeous belt worn tight around the waist was kept shut with a silver buckle that looked like two hands reaching for each other.
Charm necklaces and bracelets are infused with bohemian charm. They add a bit of sway and noise to every look, turning fashion into something much more sensual. We enjoyed how they were incorporated into the fall 2020 jewelry trends.
A lot of the jewelry at Christian Dior was decorated with blingy charms, including cloisonné fish, hearts, coins, and other little gold shapes. Charms on necklaces and bracelets were expected, but they were also added to rings and bracelet-ring combos.
It was all about the coin and heart charms at Dolce & Gabbana, which hung from chokers, necklaces, and bracelets, once again with gold as the dominant metal. Finally, Nicole Miller presented a wide range of charms on thick chain necklaces in a way that combined the industrial with the boho-chic.
Is there anything more extravagant than a metallic explosion? Designers took inspiration from stars and fireworks in crafting jewelry (especially earrings) that were quite attention-grabbing.
Spiky gold or silver earrings closed off the Alberta Ferretti show, looking like a sea urchin or an explosion of arrows. The inspiration for dark metallic earrings at Erdem was likely either a star or a compass, but either way, the pair presented had a fantastic quality to them.
Finally, at Oscar de la Renta, the night sky theme included both earrings shaped like stars and ones designed directly to mimic fireworks.
Florals were probably not seasonally appropriate for the fall 2020 accessory trends, and yet they were pretty common on the runways.
At Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, gathered floral brooches made of fabric added a romantic touch to loose jackets and blazers. Pink rose earrings complete with green leaves worked well on the over-the-top Moschino runway.
There was more floral inspiration at Gucci, Vaquera, Ulla Johnson, and Y/Project.
#12. Ms. Frizzle Earrings
Does anyone else remember the Magic School Bus? I am still firmly of the opinion that Ms. Frizzle was a style icon, from those printed A-line dresses to those playful, story-telling earrings. For the fall/ winter 2020 jewelry trends, designers presented a whole range of earrings that she surely would have loved.
For a more upscale adventure, the lipstick earrings at Lanvin would have been a great fit, while for something a little more studious, a pair of ruby-studded red chair earrings from Area would have worked.
Being in the business of writing, we found ourselves drooling over gold and black pen earrings at Fendi. Finally, there was a pair of earrings at Ellery designed to look like a person falling, which might fit for a more sinister or scary adventure.
#13. Full Ear Coverage
Ear cuffs continue to dominate ears and put out that dramatic, stacked look for the fall 2020 accessory trends.
Prabal Gurung has been making elaborate wrap earring designs for a few seasons in a row now, and he’s stuck to the pearl motif with winding shapes that hang from over or through the cartilage and then hang down to sway dramatically.
Wrap earrings at Marine Serre were also striking, made of a combination of shimmering crystal clusters and repurposed crocodile clips. A silver wrap earring design at Givenchy was less intense, with a curved metal piece curled over the ear.
We saw more cuffs and wrap earrings at Sacai, and Ulla Johnson.
#14. Oversized Single Earring
Wearing a single earring is perfectly acceptable, but according to the fall 2020 jewelry trends, it’s better if the earring you choose is oversized for maximum drama and contrast. You can also combine one large earring with a tiny, barely perceptible stud in the other ear if you don’t want to leave one ear totally bare.
Huge hoops at Marni were decorated with some sort of resin along the bottom that lent them a bit more bulk, making the “one earring” look feel a little more off-kilter.
A single loop earring made of shiny molded gold at Balmain impressed us, as well. It followed the chain theme, made of two links – a smaller one at the ear, connected to a large, bulky ring that pulled the lobe down.
Stylists decide to put models in single earrings at Off-White, and Valentino, as well.
#15. Chandelier Earrings
The drama of a chandelier earring is impossible to overstate. No earring style conveys as much gall and self-assuredness, not to mention expensive tastes.
Givenchy presented a sophisticated selection of chandelier earrings with abstract designs that were somewhat reminiscent of spine bones but at varied lengths that kept them looking unique rather than garish.
Valentino also clung to an organic motif this season, with bulky chandelier earrings held together by thin chains studded with the occasional gemstone, with hanging pieces of metal molded into abstract shapes.
Finally, at Isabel Marant, the vibe was a little more old-world, with half-moon shape made of dark metal embedded with raw stones attached to the chandelier design via delicate chains.
#16. Long Dangly Necklaces
Long necklaces, especially when worn over a flowier garment, are perfect for adding a touch of luxury but without making you look like you care too much. They’re the perfect accessory that’s never extra.
Our favorite necklaces had slightly more bohemian vibes, with a few thin chains attached to one long primary chain, with the odd pendant or charm for extra noise or sway. We saw such necklaces at Palm Angels, and Chloé.
Bibhu Mohapatra kept it a little more spiritual, with long and slim beaded necklaces that reminded us of prayer beads. There were plenty more thin and dangly necklaces on the runways, especially at Celine, Ann Demeulemeester, and Etro.
#17. Ostentatious Crosses
Religion was a major theme all over the runways, and it also had an impact on the fall/ winter 2020-2021 accessory trends, especially in the form of jewel-crusted or oversized crosses.
The crosses at Chanel were probably the most memorable. These chunky crosses made of costume jewels were spotted on necklaces and bracelets and were even decorated with the CC logo at the center.
Large metal crosses at Gucci dangled from ears as well as from long chains, adding to the puritan vibe of the show, although we think they’re going to become popular with more ostentatious celebrities in the coming months.
We saw the typical “more is more” approach to jewelry at Dolce & Gabbana, with multiple black crystal-studded cross pendants hanging from the same chain.
#18. Necklace Bag
Some fall 2020 bags were so tiny they ceased to have any bag-like function, instead behaving like jewelry, especially when hung around the neck. We left them out of our bag roundup because the fall 2020 jewelry trends are their real home.
These little pouches were crafted out of colorful leather at Lacoste and even embellished with some eyelets and a triangular trim.
A round pouch decorated with a three-dimensional floral appliqué and a tassel hung from the neck at Prada. Lastly, at Givenchy, a tiny turquoise bag shaped like a lighter bag hung from a shiny silver chain.
#19. Chunky Chokers
The chunky chokers of the fall 2020 accessory trends weren’t the industrial designs of the previous seasons – there were still a few of those, but the hot choker for the season is made of shiny, expensive-looking metal, and it’s intended to add drama and sophistication to evening wear.
A thick choker at Proenza Schouler was made of tightly welded, thick links of silvery metal for a textured and glamorous design. Chokers at Acne Studios were made of slightly textured gold or silver metal that was shaped into a twisted design, which gave them a more organic touch.
We spotted more glamorous but heavy-duty chokers at Chloé, Alexander McQueen, and Balmain.
#20. Buckled Chokers
The idea of a belt buckle around the neck is a dangerous one, bringing to mind either the idea of choking or perhaps pet collars. They felt meaningful and oh-so-punk as part of the fall/ winter 2020 accessory trends.
A yellow plaid buckle choker at Monse was extra-wide, covering the entirety of the neck, and it definitely felt like it was made of a repurposed belt. It was a nice, leather-free option.
We got serious BDSM vibes from a belt-like leather choker at Christian Siriano that was fitted with a buckle as well as some additional metal chains and loops for any number of leashes. The Blonds also stuck to a bondage-inspired design, with thin leather chokers fitted with large hoop buckles at the center.
What better item to match a choker than a dramatic cuff bracelet? There were some matching cuff and choker sets on the runways, as well as some singular options.
At Celine, we enjoyed how jewelry combined a bohemian charm with luxury, in the form of large gold cuffs with a raw stone embedded in their center.
The cuff bracelets at Alexander McQueen had that chunky drama, but they were totally elegant, just like the chokers the label presented. They were made of shiny silver in a slightly flowy and abstract shape.
At Rick Owens, a cuff bracelet was shaped to look like an extra-chunky shackle, a very punk take on jewelry with a bit of a political message.
#22. Protective Body Jewelry
One word that came to mind often through the various fashion weeks was “body armor.” While most creations were so elaborate that they counted as regular garments (despite being made of metal and often covered in jewels), others were a little subtler, fitting better into the fall 2020 jewelry trends.
At Dilara Findikoglu, a model wore body jewelry made of a silver chain over the shoulders attached to two twisted, round charms that sat over the breasts like a bra, which were then attached to a thinner chain set around the waist from the bottom of which dangled even more chains.
Rokh presented a chain set comprised of two belts – one around the waist and another secured in a diagonal over the torso. Y/Project, Area, and Alexander McQueen also presented iterations on jewelry as body armor.
Fall/ Winter 2020-2021 Accessory Trends
Harnesses have gotten pretty trendy over the last few years with an edgier crowd, and this time around, they were also quite heavily represented on the high-fashion runways, becoming one of the sexier fall/ winter 2020 accessory trends.
The Junya Watanabe collection featured strappy leather harnesses in red or black patent leather that were worn over classy and menswear-inspired wool coats, giving a sexy twist to more austere outerwear.
At Gucci, harnesses made of thick, straight stripes of black leather with silver detailing added the most striking contrast to puritan-inspired or heavily ruffled dresses. Lastly, at Alexander McQueen, a harness worn over a voluminous white dress with puffy sleeves helped to transform a feminine look into something more warrior-like.
#24. Tight Neck Scarf
A scarf or bandana wrapped tightly around the neck can have a retro charm, or they can put out vibes of someone who just really has their life together. If you dig a prim and proper look or you enjoy subverting it, take your styling cue from this fall 2020 accessory trend.
It was all about the vintage vibes at Shrimps, with ribbons or scarves, often matched to coats or dresses, looped multiple times around the neck and tied off to the side in a small ribbon.
Saint Laurent was more subversive, with scarves tied at the front like ascots, often giving a masculine, Victorian vibe to outfits with oversized, ‘80s-inspired blazers. Lastly, at Etro, the effect of tightly wrapped scarves also brought to mind men’s ascots, but this time in combination with a colonial, nomadic look.
Genderplay is integral to the spirit of the modern fashion world, which meant we saw all kinds of neckties in the fall 2020 accessories.
Black ties were worn with button-up shirts at Christian Dior to complete a few suited outfits, but one exception was a more rocker look that also featured a bandana and a leather jacket.
We also spotted a lot of ties at the major Milan shows. At Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, the ties were mostly black, but Prada added some color with ties in red, baby blue, or purple.
#26. Wide Belts
We’re predicting a very slow shift towards fashion inspired by the mid-2000s. For the fall/ winter 2020-2021 accessory trends, wide, waist-cinching belts present one of the harbingers of what will surely be a very significant era soon.
Wide belts with square buckles and long tails were primarily used to cinch coats at Rochas, though they also helped add shape to flowy dresses.
Saint Laurent belts are a fashion statement, with many of the ones presented this season having a slightly thicker design with a larger than usual buckle. They weren’t styled to look like they were from the mid-aughts, which we appreciated, and instead were worn over pencil skirts and high-waisted latex leggings to add structure.
Finally, at Elie Saab, the belts were a little shapelier, with a design slightly reminiscent of a Japanese obi belt thanks to a layer of black rope that was tied over the wider, slightly curved belt.
#27. Long Gloves
Elegant long gloves were one of the more major fall/ 2020 accessory trends, adding a luxurious upgrade to any evening look. Long gloves are a little ridiculous, very dramatic, and perfect for keeping the arms warm during evening-time events.
It’ll be impossible to cover all of the long gloves worn on the runway this season, but a few do stand out. First, there were the strictly decorative gloves at Erdem, which went up to the elbow and came in both bright metallic tones and sheerer fabrics.
Giambattista Valli crafted a pair of long gloves that went past the elbows out of a light, floral-printed fabric, and then paired them with both equally delicate dresses and coats, as well as with darker garments.
There were plenty more opera gloves to drool over at Richard Quinn, The Row, Anna Sui, David Koma, Tadashi Shoji, Marc Jacobs, and many others.
#28. Leather Gloves
Gloves showed up in all kinds of materials on the runways, but leather gloves stood out to us the most, offering a touch of warmth and a lot of classy practicality.
Trends were combined at Valentino, with long leather gloves going up past the elbow. Made of supple leather, the gloves mostly came in black, brown, red, or burgundy and had a slightly loose design that allowed them to wrinkle elegantly. We spotted similar gloves at Balmain, though their length was sometimes hard to judge since they were worn under long-sleeve coats.
Marc Jacobs presented shorter leather gloves that ended right at the wrist – this length had its own elegant and feminine effect. There were even a few slightly more rocker-chic fingerless options!
We spotted more leather gloves at Lanvin, and Maison Margiela.
Photos via Vogue, Livingly