Maximalism is the name of the game this summer, and it’s manifesting in the most nostalgic way possible. Despite dainty jewelry styles such as gold medallion necklaces and croissant rings dominating recent seasons, the biggest jewelry trends right now are conspicuous, bursting with color, and actually largely forgo metal materials in favor of fun, plastic or blown glass designs. ‘90s babies may find these It-accessories all too familiar — from beaded knick-knacks to stackable bracelets, the reboot of 2000s jewelry trends sets the tone for a wave of creativity-induced accessorizing minimalism retirees may have been craving.
“One of the reasons why [the 2000s] came back into style is because there is more creative freedom in repurposing and redefining the best aspects of that time,” Isabella Lalonde, the New York-based jewelry designer behind Beepy Bella tells TZR. Lalonde’s theory is that rebelling against “today’s mainstream fashion senses” to instead look back at trends of the past makes way for sartorial escapism and promotes experimentation. The most straightforward way to put a spin on your everyday style is by introducing funky motifs or adding pops of color you may not typically gravitate toward, which at its core, is what these fun-loving Y2K trends are all about.
Although runway designers aren’t entirely out of the loop (charm jewelry found its way to Acne Studios’ Fall 2021 collection, while 2000s-era Paris Hilton would have loved Eckhaus Latta’s Fall 2021 hip chain), the emerging designers whose launched first via Instagram take the lead on this one. Ahead, here’s how they’re creating the season's must-have accessories, and why even the most modern dressers should give these joyous styles a try.
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You have Barcelona-based brand La Manso to thank for the revival of colorful, mood-boosting trinkets as far as rings are concerned. With celeb fans such as Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa wearing the brand’s chunky finger candy on repeat, its plastic styles have quickly become a driving force for nostalgic accessorizing. “The Y2K jewelry phenomenon is [a] reference for me, [but] I didn’t wait for it to be fashionable again,” La Manso designer Adriana Manso tells TZR. Manso says she actually began her creative journey working with antique items as a child, inspired then by her grandmother who was also a fan of statement plastic jewelry. Styled IRL, It-girls seem to love piling on a number of the brand’s designs at once, side by side or stacked one on top of the other. Have the bright hues match your outfit or don’t — there truly are no rules.
Take a trip down memory lane to the playful charm jewelry reminiscent of grade school years, with the return of beaded necklaces and bracelets. This time around though, dreamy, mystical designs are taking the forefront. Known for offering chokers with mushroom, fruit, and fairy beads among other objects and creatures, Lalonde’s brand Beepy Bella is synonymous with whimsical accessories. “A lot of my work focuses on the relationship adults have to their childhood selves,” Lalonde tells TZR. “I am constantly craving to connect with the person I first was in the early years of my life because I think children have an innately beautiful and magical sense of boundless imagination.” Lalonde uses pearls alongside her more unexpected bead styles, an element she says derives from her personal “modern grandma shabby chic” style. In the end, the necklaces make both a statement piece on their own, or as fun layering elements when worn together.
More is more when it comes to Y2K style, and that means bringing on the layers. Enter: plastic bangle bracelets. Naturally, the comeback of chunky rings made room for its sister accessory, and the concept of stacking and mixing colors is one that the two share. At Berna Peci, the trend comes with 2021 updates such as swirl-like cuffs and knotted details. Known also for blingy band rings and Cuban link bracelets, the brand’s latest collections were designer Berna Peci’s first time stepping into a new direction. “[The 2000s were] a fun and colorful era of fashion,” Peci tells TZR. “I [wanted] to find a way to incorporate that era of runway fashion with a modern twist.” However, you don’t have to go all-in with the brand’s magenta or deep blue bracelets to get in on the fun. Clear, iridescent, and earthy-toned bangles from Berna Peci offer a way to ease into the style and still keep your accessorizing relatively minimal.
Much of the Y2K jewelry trend revival includes styles those growing up in the 2000s may have worn as tweens and teens, but the waist chain (or belly chain) is the daring trend you may most recall admiring on the red carpet, championed by celebrities such as Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, and Aaliyah. Today, the year-old Canada-based jewelry brand Steff Eleoff may be known for its imaginative, vine-like rings, but its Drip Hip Chain is the epitome of the “hot girl summer” aesthetic, where risk-taking and the early aughts meet. “I didn’t intend to have the hip chain to be inspired by Y2K [fashion],” designer Steff Eleoff tells TZR, adding that elements of ‘90s and ‘2000s style do offer indirect inspiration, even in her personal style. “[I wanted to] play with the body and how I can mix jewelry and put it in different places [that weren't the fingers or the wrist].” The brand’s campaign imagery, though, lends spot-on styling inspiration for anyone ready to fully embrace the look — pair yours with low-rise jeans, a cropped knit top, and rimless visor sunglasses.