Balmain Balmain

(Form) re-imagined

New paradigms emerge as cutting-edge imaginings and technology replace gravity defining propositions in jewellery.

In jewellery, scale and proportion are mostly defined by, and restricted to, the silhouette of the physical body.Lately, due to the influence of digital possibilities where form and function are superseded by otherworldly opportunities, jewellery is breaking free of these constraints, giving rise to an idea that is less bound by preconceived paradigms.


Take the adaptation of chain into clothing at Balmain’s ss22 show, for example. The brand’s creative director Olivier Rousteing’s pre-show open letter to friends talked about ‘recovery and renewal’; however, to my mind, it was much more to do with a refreshing actualisation of a new conversation around adornment. Models took to the runway in supersized renditions of the classic chain in the form of stone-encrusted curb-link bodices and slinky, shimmering draped chain ‘shirts’. Rousteing dares to experiment – taking ornamentation to that place that exists between preconceived constructs and wild imagination.


Daniel Roseberry of Schiaparelli challenges the constraints of traditional categorisation, too. In fact, his hybridisation of jewellery and clothing is now so embedded in the brand’s DNA that it is hard to distinguish one from the other.

Gilded and exaggerated body parts function as connectors and fasteners and challenge our preconceptions around what, for example, a pendant should look like and how it should be worn. Scaled up and displaced design details of body parts support new contexts of adornment and self-expression – a new paradigm of possibility realised through the interaction of jewellery as garments.

diya wang adorn insightDiya Wang

New-gen rising star Diya Wang’s latest body of work, Hybrid Garment, further supports this deconstructed interaction between apparel and jewel. “I utilize the recognizable formal qualities of jewelry and clothing and subvert their functions to create a hybridized body of work. Exaggeration, juxtaposition, shifts in scale and surrealism are my strategies to magnify the relationship between jewelry, clothing, and the body”.

Whilst these three examples interrogate the narrative around jewellery-wear in the physical world, the digital world opens up fresh possibilities free from the confines and limitations of gravity.

Hadar Bar Noy Adorn insightHadar Bar Noy

Hadar Bar Noy’s chainlink garment is a case in point. As a 3D designer and second-year student at Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, Noy’s design features super-scaled chain links that entwine, articulate and interact with the human body through AR and VR. The garment – which was selected for the DRESSX collection ‘Meta Look’ – is an expression of the vulnerability and intimacy we experience in a relationship with another person.

CLARA daguin

Clara Daguin

Couture designer Clara Daguin re-imagines traditional artisanal craftsmanship through the lens of technology, opening up possibilities that extend beyond the limitations of the materials themselves.

During the ss22 couture shows at Paris Fashion Week, Daguin showcased Oracle – a collection of interactive luminous dresses, programmed in partnership with Google ATAP engineers using proprietary Jacquard by Google technology. As a part of the creative experiment, her luminous collection was digitized and brought to the virtual realm in the form of 3D assets and AR looks, powered by DRESSX, which were immediately available to purchase on the platform.

These trailblazing scenarios are testimony to a new era of adornment across the physical and digital space. Excitingly, these opportunities are not limited to a select cohort of experimental designers. I envisage a world where commercial brands are part of the conversation. Brand codes and iconography adapted into jewellery-wear is a good place to start.

Words: Juliet Hutton-Squire

Images: Imaxtree; Clara Daguin; Dress X

To find out how our highly specialised team at Adorn can support you on this journey, please email me directly: [email protected]

Posted in Insight on 09 December, 2021