The world is opening up and people are stepping out in style. All those sweatpants and comfy sitting-on-the-couch clothes have been tossed aside for major look-at-me looks. Jewelry for this new-again mode of fashion is as eye-catching as the clothes, and diamond body and belly chains and ankle bracelets are at the forefront of summer styles.
Billie Eilish donned the trend when she ditched her signature oversized clothes, chunky jewelry, and neon green hair for a blond bombshell look for a recent magazine cover. The singer debuted her transformation on the June cover of British Vogue wearing a custom-made Gucci corset and a Jacquie Aiche bra. Not a bra as in lingerie, but a triangle bra silhouette made in gold chain and dusted with diamonds. In the issue, Eilish wears more of Aiche’s unconventional jewels: a finger bracelet and a body chain.
Coincidentally, the day before Billie posted her internet-breaking makeover on Instagram, model Hailey Bieber also rocked the body jewelry trend. She posted two pictures of herself wearing a pink terrycloth bikini with a couple of necklaces by Jacquie Aiche, as well as the designer’s Diamond Bar Chain Bodychain. The statement piece (ringing in at a mere $15,250) has a large diamond at the center and 32 smaller diamonds separated by gold bar motifs.
The popularity of diamond body chains hasn’t gone unnoticed by jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche, queen of body chains. “We have had different moments when our body chains have been really popular but nothing like this,” explains Aiche.
For Aiche, the body chains have always been a staple. “When I first launched my collection around 2007, I had a spool of gold chain and I would just size it to women’s waists and ankles.”
When Jacquie added diamonds and formally put them in her collection, celebrities started wearing them. Rihanna was one of the first to sport the look; she was followed by Miley Cyrus and Kate Hudson. In 2016, Jacquie Aiche caused a sensation when she cast rising star Emily Ratajkowski in her look book and covered her in body chains. Beyoncé wore a body chain in her landmark visual album, Lemonade.
I could go on, but the best way to see the designer’s commitment to body chains, belly chains and anklets is to review her Instagram— which is inching up to half-a-million followers. Almost every day, the models in the shots are wearing diamond and gold body chains.
So, above and beyond the celebrities, what’s inspiring the popularity of the body jewelry now? Draping diamonds on your body, around your waist or on your ankle feels empowering. It hits different than a necklace or bracelet. It’s an iconoclastic and sexy statement. It matches the thought of fashion prognosticators that the end of the pandemic would be similar to the roaring twenties, inciting the Jazz Age levels of joy brought on by the end of World War I and the 1918 pandemic.
People are ready to have a good time and they want fun jewels to do it in. And there are few more lively diamond styles than a body chain or anklet. “My chain guy can barely keep up with the orders,” explains Aiche.