Regardless of whether the economy rises or falls, the trends, like waves, keep right on coming. That is both a blessing & a curse. How can consumers afford to keep up with something as ephemeral, even faddish, as fashion at a time like this? Then again, how can the industry afford for them not to?
This holiday, the best bets for jewelry are fun, affordable, value-added &, in the best of all worlds, cause-related. Think about these top trends:
1. From classic to contemporary
Last year, the Diamond Trading Co. (DTC) exhorted consumers to buy "fewer, better things," a mantra that underscored the timelessness of classic diamond jewels such as studs, solitaire pendants & line bracelets. That sentiment continues to be relevant in the marketplace, which has seen a strong focus on updated, value-driven classics. Think about the staying power of items such as hoop earrings, bangle bracelets & chain-link necklaces, like the stylish gold statement necklace from H. Stern's new "H.Stern+GrupoCorpo" collection. A chic black ribbon adds a modern twist to the necklace's classic links.
2. The blackened silver lining
As the gold price continues to climb, the jewelry trade's commitment to silver is verging on obsession. Rediscovered by the high-end four years ago, as the economy tipped over in to recession, the white metal has been the design community's saving grace--especially, & perhaps ironically, when it is blackened.
"How much more can they talk about blackened?" asks Cindy Edelstein of the Jewelers Resource Bureau, a design consultancy, referring to the ubiquitous look of oxidized & rhodium-plated silver, which designers have embraced because it allows them to glam up an otherwise plain look. "If there is one saving grace to the economy, it is that it's released some people's creativity."
3. Kooky colored stones
What is more, at a time when the trending look on runways & in fashion magazines is sizable & bold, silver is the only viable option for those who prefer to stick to noble metals.
"This is costume jewelry for the woman who is looking to accessorize her wardrobe," says Doug Hucker, chief executive officer of the American Gen Trade Association. "It's obtainable, abundant & cheap."
Given the fashion world's preoccupation with volume, it is no surprise that sizable but cheap gem materials one time banished to the discount bins at trade shows are now the designer materials du jour. Agates, drusy, sliced geodes & sizable opaque cabochons have seldom been more popular than they are today, thanks to designers like Melissa Joy Manning, whose newest collection pairs drusy with huge silver pendants.
4. Sentimental journeys
The holidays tend to bring out people's sentimental sides, which is why jewelry that makes an explicit emotional statement is a seasonal hit.
"Evil eyes, good-luck charms, yoga symbols, hamsa pendants, anything with a peace innuendo & personal talismans" are all the anger this year, says Helena Krodel, director of media & special events at the Jewelry Information Center.
The DTC certainly thinks so. Its sizable new concept, "Everlon," a collection of diamond jewelry featuring a Herculean knot motif, is being described as "a tribute to the unfailing strength of love."
"It wasn't the time for a sizable, loud, splashy venture," says Sally Morrison, the interim U.S. director-in-charge of the De Beers account at JWT. "This is a quieter, more thoughtful gesture of love."
5. Pièces unique
"They require pieces that are unique, & that translates in to people mixing & matching things in their own way: plenty of charm necklaces, charm bracelets, layered chains, yellow gold worn with white," Morrison says. "People require to wear fashion costume jewelry that speaks to them as a person. It is a mash-up of high & low."
Axiomatic is the notion that luxury consumers are no longer fixated on the preciousness of their jewels. the opposite. Women are demonstrating a strong desire