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CEN AUS Q1 2018

STYLE & BEAUTY EN VOGUE

STYLE & BEAUTY EN VOGUE Statement Pieces Understated and eclectic, the men’s bracelet is bringing new possibilities for masculine style, says AVRIL GROOM Nestling under many a man’s slick shirt cuff is a surprise – a bracelet. It may be plaited leather with a metallic trim, or a plain silver, gold or (for health benefits) copper band; it could easily be a chunky chain, or rich with beads and even stones, especially black diamonds. Gone is the time when a watch was the only feasible jewellery for men. Less formal attitudes to workwear and today’s emphasis on individuality have led to the bracelet becoming the prime men’s accessory on which, except for the very top end, people can afford to ring the changes when it pleases them. “It’s easy, much less in your face than a signet or wedding ring, and more a form of self-expression than a piece of jewellery,” says Zaim Kamal, creative director of Montblanc (montblanc.com), which might seem an unlikely source of men’s jewellery except, as he says, “we want to supply all the essential accessories of a man’s professional life, and the bracelet has become one, even in conservative professions. Men wear them alongside their watches to personalise their timepiece, or put several together, maybe including one made by their kids – the personal significance counts.” Above from left: JOHN HARDY Legends Naga SHAUN LEANE Arc cuff ZADEH The Capri stack BOUCHERON Quatre Classique MESSIKA Move Titanium Black Bangle HANNAH MARTIN Aguila Dorada single shackle bangle 50 CENTURION-MAGAZINE.COM

Clockwise from left: DUNHILL Facet Detail MONTBLANC Meisterstück SHAMBALLA JEWELS Lock ARA VARTANIAN X Kate Moss TATEOSSIAN Tubo Philip Silver STONE PARIS Gothic Diamonds PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE VENDORS Other traditional brands, like Dunhill (dunhill.com) and Tod’s (tods. com), are fast following suit, while boutique entities like Paris’s Philippe Audibert (philippeaudibert.com), Balifounded John Hardy (johnhardy.com) and Brazilian jeweller Luis Morais (luismorais.com) have been purveying them for a while longer. The habit started in the rock world with flamboyant, often gemset, pieces from pioneers like Stephen Webster (stephenwebster.com) and Shaun Leane (shaunleane.com), while Shamballa Jewels (shamballajewels.com) led the way on intricately thonged, precious bead bracelets with spiritual intention in the stones, and these are still the go-to top-end names. Shamballa says its goal is to “adorn men with fine jewellery as their ancestors did, to reflect their beliefs and accomplishments. They now have the confidence to break free from the suit-and-watch uniform – our bead bracelet inspired by the Eastern mala necklace was one of the first, and then the Lock bracelet which men often wear with their watch, or flat beads for those who want to be discreet.” Classic jewellery houses such as Boucheron (boucheron.com) now include men’s gold bangles, often stackable, while the leather-thong with metal-trim bracelet has become the new standard, derived from the friendship bangles that gap-year millennials collect on their travels, and add to with designer versions once they start earning, like those in 18kt black gold and leather sold by Stone Paris (stoneparis.com). So too have semiprecious stones and beads, like those on offer by Miami-based Miansai (miansai.com), Italy’s Isaia (isaia.it) and the recent collaboration between Ara Vartanian (aravartanian.com) and Kate Moss. “Stacking bracelets are particularly popular because each piece can have a personal meaning,” says designer Robert Tateossian (tateossian. com), whose range varies from dark beads to pale-blue plaited leather. “Men increasingly buy stacks of up to five and wear different ones for different occasions – discreet for day, maybe even micro-pavé diamonds at night. They are currently more popular than chunky rock‘n‘roll silver, but it’s down to personal style.” And while Alexander McQueen (alexandermcqueen.com) and Bottega Veneta (bottegaveneta.com) offer masculine motifs, encouragement now also comes from women designers, such as Valérie Messika (messika.com), who have been creating and wearing such pieces for years. “Men finally understand that accessories and jewellery don’t necessarily connote femininity,” says New York designer Catherine Zadeh (zadehny.com), whose Asian water buffalohorn bracelets, sustainable and handcrafted, are highly coveted. “Women are also accepting of men wearing jewellery now and push them to don a piece or two. Our bracelets are not flashy but timeless, and add a personal touch – jewellery for the man who doesn’t wear it.” Hannah Martin (hannahmartinlondon.com), whose design trajectory has gone from men’s pieces to non-gendered, agrees. “The boundaries of what is and isn’t menswear are finally breaking down,” she says. “A bracelet is the next step on from the cufflink to define style and identity, and can be quite subtle, especially with a suit, yet adds a standout detail. We have clients who push the boundaries, experimenting with stones, and others who prefer our more subtle leather braid Wrist Rope.” Whatever style of bracelet a man chooses, Martin sums up the indelible appeal: “A little flash of something peeking out of a shirt cuff feels subversive – in a very good way.” CENTURION-MAGAZINE.COM 51