2019 is the Chinese New Year of the Pig, the 12th and final cycle of animals in the Chinese Zodiac. According to folklore the Jade Emperor, who had ruled heaven and earth wisely for a long time, was curious to visit earth as he had never set foot on it personally. Spurred on by his imagination, he summoned all of the animals to visit him in heaven. They duly turned up – apart from the pig. Just as the Emperor was about to call it a day, a squeal was heard and it tottered in. The pig had apparently grown peckish during the race and stopped at a feast, before promptly falling asleep. And that is how the pig became the 12th and last animal of the Zodiac cycle.
Noted for their generosity, wealth and happy demeanour, pigs are now living the high life. From celebrity micro-pigs to diamond pigs, never before has there been so much so much attention from snout-to-trotter.
You maybe can’t make a silk purse of a sow’s ear (as the old saying goes), but you can make a capsule collection inspired by the farmyard animal. In celebration of Chinese New Year, Gucci has gone whole hog with a pig-inspired campaign, while Harry Winston, Dior and Jacquet Droz have also released limited-edition pieces.
There aren’t many sartorial rules to Chinese New Year, but here are some words of advice: wear plenty red for luck; accessorise with gold to bring prosperity and last but not least, the more pigs the better.
Animalier Pig Diamond Ring, Roberto Coin, £16,000, robertocoin.com
L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Pig, £19,000, Chopard, chopard.com
Mr Pig Earrings, Tessa Packard, £4,500, tessapackard.com
Chinese New Year Miniature Set, Acqua di Parma, £48, acquadiparma.com
Palais Tsarskoye Selo Red Locket, Fabergé, faberge.com
Chinese New Year Premier Automatic, Harry Winston, POA, harrywinston.com
Chinese New Year Toile de Jouy Book Tote, Dior, £2100, dior.com
Fiorever Necklace, Bulgari, £3850, bulgari.com
Mens Piglet Wool Cardigan, Gucci, £980, gucci.com
Petite Heure Minute Pig, Jaquet Droz, POA, jaquet-droz.com
Pink Crossbody in Leather, Tod’s, £670, tods.com
Book Clutch Zodiac, Wendy Yu x Olympia Le-Tan, £1215, olympialetan.com
Quattro Pig Astronaut Bag, Moynat, POA, moynat.com
If Pigs Could Fly Bag, Radley, £249 radley.com