Spring Ahead to Fall

Sure, spring just sprung, but if you’re not already thinking about your fall lineup, you’re falling behind. With the JCK Las Vegas Show right around the corner, consider the hottest trends in fashion and what they mean to your inventory as you plan your fall and holiday strategy.

Color trends on—rule breaking, bold and unexpected in combination, with green most popular on the fall fashion palette. Emerald is hailed the Pantone Color Institute’s Color of the Year for 2013. A powerful, universally appealing tone, emerald has been a red carpet jewelry choice since Angelina Jolie flashed 115 carats of vivid emerald drop earrings at Oscars 2009. Other favorite greens: Linden Green, halfway between green and yellow; and Deep Lichen Green, somewhere between army green and khaki with gray undertone.

“Green is the most abundant hue in nature–the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” hails Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, global authority on color. “The prevalence of green has been steadily rising for seasons, especially in the fashion and couture markets.”

Pantone’s palette calls out color trends in fashion, which is something Color Craft follows closely in its gem-set jewelry line, tells Todd Wolleman, a principal for the New York City-based manufacturer. “Emerald is enjoying a revival,” he says, “and demand for other green gems is strong including peridot, green tourmaline, quartz and beryl.”

Pantone’s palette also identifies a bold, meditative Mykonos Blue, exotic berry Acai, deep fuchsia pink, vivacious spirited red Samba, and dazzling orange Koi. Anchor neutrals are Turbulence, a deep charcoal and Carafe, a luscious brown. Many gems include these colors like diamond, sapphire, tourmaline, garnet, spinel, zircon, and quartz varieties. Wolleman says his company captures specific Pantone shades every season in its coated quartz, topaz and drusy agate that are popular with retailers who want on-trend colors in their lineup.

For the fall season, colors come together to create moods from sophisticated and structured to lively and vivid, encapsulating our inherent need for wardrobe variety to reflect our ever-changing emotions,” describes Eiseman. “The palette allows for that versatility and experimentation.” She says many designers are embracing unconventional color combinations that encourage consumers to stop and think, “I never thought of doing that before.”

Wolleman sees greater risk taking in accessories with a strong movement for individual style among consumers, fueling the popularity of diamond and gem slices, raw crystals, and drusy material that reveal nature’s hand.

Image consultant Cynthia Sliwa hails gems a huge trend for quite sometime with no sign of waning. “There’s so much variety, the sky’s the limit!” But, she doesn’t dismiss the timelessness of white diamonds, a classic in any wardrobe; and she cites the popularity of all metals and interest in different metal colors. “It’s an exciting time for jewelry design given fashion’s embrace of such diverse styles and points of view,” says Sliwa, who pens The Jewelry Fashion File, JCK online.

Among fashion’s standout design directions: high impact details and texture; romantic textiles, paisley prints and brocades; over-sized and structured designs; nature, both its opulence and dark side; early 20th century art like Dadaists and Bauhaus; and inspirations from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘90s style.

Jewelry styles run the gamut from dramatic to demure. Bold runway looks favor statement neckwear in collars from futuristic and edgy to romantic and ornate; and long necklaces dangling tassels or talisman. In bracelets, the wrist action is for cuffs and multi-strand beads or chains. In earrings, variations on the chandelier styles reign in chain, crystal or bead, as well as hoops and crosses.

Conversely, Sliwa sees a return to delicate styles, small cluster earrings and studs, sweet pendants and charms. Most notably, she’s been tracking the fashion media’s growing love affair with matched sets—perfect accessories to ladylike styles inspired by the ‘50s and ‘60s (think Mad Men). “It’s a high-end way to dress, an exciting development for jewelers in add-on sales.”

The mantra, know your customers, is key now more than ever, says Sliwa, given the anything goes environment of fashion today. “Define what fashion is to your customers and relate what’s happening in the fashion world to your world.”