Anklets Go Beyond the Beach


During Dior’s high jewelry presentation in June, a model walked down the stairs of the Villa Erba on Lake Como, Italy, wearing two earrings, an ear cuff, a choker, two rings on each of her index fingers, and a ring around her right ankle. And a bouquet was tied. Diamond flowers on cloth strap.

“It was about using the body as a playground—from ear cuffs to anklets,” says Victoire de Castellane, creative director of Dior jewelry, in an email about the house’s latest collection, Les Jardins de la Couture was written in

Anklets have been a mainstay in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for centuries, but they didn’t become popular in the West until the mid-20th century, and even then mostly as a teenage fad or a playful adornment for a day at the beach Were.

However, in recent years, designers have been experimenting with the style. Paris-based designer Valerie Messika has included anklets in most of the collections she has presented since opening her eponymous diamond-centric brand in 2005, and in 2021 she collaborated with Kate Moss on an anklet design. “Jewelry shouldn’t be limited to our fingers, wrists, neck and ears,” Ms. Messika wrote in an email. “I love being creative with body jewelry, and anklets make for a cute-cool look.”

Ms Messica’s sentiments were echoed at recent red-carpet events, such as Dolce & Gabbana’s haute couture event in Puglia, Italy, last month, where Kim Kardashian wore her diamond anklets with a gorgeous purple gown. And in November, Bulgari’s jewelry executive creative director Lucia Silvestri wore a diamond-encrusted serpenti bracelet around her ankle at the opening of “Serpenti Metamorphosis” in London, an exhibit celebrating the 75th anniversary of the house’s hallmark reptile design. There was an exhibition.

“There has definitely been an increase in ‘high-end’ anklet offerings,” said Elyse Chirumbole, director of fine jewelry and watches at online personal-shopping service Threads Styling. And although anklets are worn year-round, he said, their sales peak between early spring and late summer in the Northern Hemisphere — and that doesn’t include bracelets or necklaces that shoppers buy to customize.

When socialite and British Tatler editor Sabine Getty posted a photo on Instagram from her vacation in Greece this summer, it included her favorite gold anklets by Venix. “I wear it every day all summer long,” she said in a phone interview, “and in the winter, I like to wear it over black tights at formal events to make the look a little more fun and sexy.”

Venix founder and designer Eugenie Niarchos began designing anklets and launched the anklet line about six years ago, when she opened a pop-up store on the Greek island of Mykonos in 2020, initially making them in 18-karat gold and then Changed. to reduce their weight to 14 carats (2,400 pounds, or $3,060). Ms Nearcos said the name of the collection, Payal, refers to the Hindi word for anklet.

Venix also offers an 18-karat-gold Big Pearl anklet with 31 pink pearls (£1,200), a silver Mykonos shell design (£585) and a children’s version of the 14-karat anklet (£1,980).

Ms Nearcos said she had posted photos of herself wearing the anklet with the hashtag #wearyourankletalldayeveryday. He began to see how “customers get so attached to them that they can hardly put them off,” he said. “Some of them even wear them in winter.”

“Earlier, the trend was to wear anklets tightly and sit high around the ankle and usually around only one ankle,” he said. “However, my designs are made to sit lower, below the fibula, to add some flare around the top of the leg.”

Historically, the practice of wearing anklets was well documented among the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, said Nikita Binani, head of jewelery sales at Sotheby’s in London. And in India, he said, “anklets have been worn consistently and have traditionally been a symbol of wealth and status for both men and women.”

Ms. Binani said, Payal Payal, also known as paizeb and payjeb, is a gift given to brides to wish them prosperity and protect them from the evil eye. The designs are often lavishly decorated, such as the table-cut diamond-encrusted anklets or the pair with antique enamel work and green glass drops that were sold by Christie’s at the 2019 auction, Maharaja and Mughal Magnificence.

Ms. Binani, who trained to become a professional dancer in India, described an anklet known as a ghungroo, which could have multiple threads reaching the calf, weighing up to a kilogram (2.2 pounds) and, crucially, contains abundant pearls whose chimes become part of the music: “It brings the music, the dance, the ornament – ​​all together.”

London-based Santi Jewels designer Krishna Chowdhary said the anklet is frequently mentioned in Indian literature, even in the sacred texts of Buddhism, and is part of the 16 traditional adornments a Hindu woman wears. is expected to wear. For example, Mr. Chowdhary said, “My mother gave the anklet to my wife as a wedding gift.”

While jewelers in the West have started to introduce distinctive designs, Francesca Ruggiero, founder and designer of jewelry brand Kiaa in London, said most customers simply buy a bracelet or necklace and wear it around the ankle.

This summer a customer bought a 22-carat gold Kia Snake necklace (from €2,100) and immediately wore it around her ankle, said Ms Ruggiero, a sales assistant at the brand’s pop-up store on Capri in Italy. .

Lily Gabriella Elia, a London-based fine jewelry designer, said she made the first anklet in 2019 for a Brazilian client who also commissioned a matching armlet, but most of the clients requesting anklets come from the Middle East.

“Initially,” she said, “we were doing more classic tennis-bracelet style sets with sapphires, however, it is now a customizable evil-eye talisman collection that is more successful.” (Collection pieces start from £1,250)

And Tokyo-born designer Mizuki Goltz of the fine jewelry line Mizuki in New York said she believes the anklet’s current popularity reflects a renewed focus on self-care and wellness that began during the pandemic.

“I like to think of my anklets as lingerie. Lingerie is not about showing off the power, but about knowing that your ankle looks beautiful and sexy even under a long skirt or pants,” she said. “Whether you see it or not, it always adds something special.”


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