It’s official. The anklet – in its ankle-hugging, wonderfully unassuming glory – is continuing its reign as the jewellery du jour, not just a fleeting trend but this season’s most coveted accessory. And while anklets may conjure memories of a surfie, Roxy-obsessed youth or girlish childhood, the modern iteration is much more fashion, darling.
Much like the rest of ‘90s revival – tiny glasses, baguette bags, chainmail, kitten heels, chokers, dad sneakers – the anklet’s modern reprisal was surprising; a trend, like many of its fellow ’90s friends, we did not see resurfacing with such fervour.
2019 saw fashion girls take to the trend, albeit slowly, donning delicate chains and pearl-strung strings around their ankles to accompany resort wear. But it was the Spring Summer 2020 shows that flung it into the fashion stratosphere, truly cementing it as the accessory to have with almost every street style somebody pairing an anklet with their Bottega mule in Paris and Milan.
The shows, too, featured ankle-loving jewellery, with Gucci, Missoni and Versace all serving their own variations of the trend. But unlike the beaded and puka shell varietals of our youth, the modern version is much chicer, loftier and decidedly more interesting (and not simply confined to the beach).
Perhaps the best thing about the new and improved anklet is exactly this, its newfound versatility. Unlike its predecessor who felt the constraints of seaside dressing (aka the Bali family holiday), the modern anklet can be applied to pretty much any outfit, at any time – instantly elevating a look. While a heeled mule is its sartorial best friend, layering an anklet atop a wrap sandal (either heeled or flat) adds a level of interest and fashion credibility. Or for the ultimate dash of fashion irony, added to a thong heel – two ‘90s heavyweights together again at last. Even on a chilly day in Paris, fashion week attendees dressed up Mary-Janes and chunky penny loafers with the ankle chain, proof the anklet can still be a powerful accessory in winter, too.
New-gen anklets include gems, diamonds, beads, charms and heavy-duty chains – some so big the seemingly understated accessory in fact makes a mighty statement in itself (think Meadowlark’s weighty chain and fob or Alix Yangs’s Andy Anklet). But chain link anklets also arise delicately, with brands like Sarah & Sebastian, Petite Grand and Alighieri offering elegant ankle strapping.
While the eternal sun-seekers will find fashion solace in pearlescent varieties which draw on the style’s seaside heritage however remain wholly elegant, like Albus Lumen’s floaty Keshi-pearl anklet or more profound pearls in Anissa Kermiche artful pieces.
And for a little bit of everything, look no further than Holly Ryan’s exquisite collaboration with My Chameleon. A collection of ten exclusive anklets made of precious recycled metals (silver and gold plated silver) and sustainably sourced stones, the intention was to minimise environmental impact while making a modern heirloom. Contrived for the Australian online atelier to mark its 10th anniversary, both sustainability and nostalgia played muse for Director and Founder, Gisele Farhat:
“Holly Ryan’s processes are sustainable and thoughtful, it was this type of sensibility that appealed to us when we wanted to create a collection of anklets, something she hadn’t done before. Ankle bracelets are reminiscent of the late ’90s and our intention was to create an modern, elevated and refined piece to wear everyday. It progressed very naturally. They are designed to wear singular or layered.”
As for Ryan, her anklet idyll includes a return to the beach. “Poolside at Bronte in nothing but a string bikini and adorned only by a single sparkling chain draped around my ankle, sipping water and reading a book in the hot sun mid morning on a Tuesday because its Summer and I’m on a sunshine schedule,” she describes of how to style her sublime chains. Sounds like the perfect anklet situation to us.
Uplift an outfit (and your ankle) with the following assortment. There’s even a puka option in there should you wish to rekindle your salty youth.
Shop the look
Vera Anklet – Silver, Holly Ryan at My Chameleon, $259. shop now
ANDY ANKLET, alix yang, $98. shop now
VOLITARE KESHI-PEARL ANKLET, ALBUS LUMEN, $196. SHOP NOW
fob anklet, Meadowlark, $499. shop now
SERPENTINE AND PEARL GOLD-PLATED ANKLET, ANISSA KERMICHE VIA MATCHES FASHION, $168. SHOP NOW
The Character Assassin 24kt gold-plated anklet, ALIGHIERI, $295. shop now
Bohemia Anklet, petite grand, $180. shop now
Two Faced Shelley gold-plated pearl anklet, ANISSA KERMICHE, $350. shop now
Double Chain Anklet in yellow gold, sarah & sebastian $245. shop now