As you prepare your fall strategy, trends trackers in the field share key design directions to keep on your radar when shopping the JCK Las Vegas Show from May 29 to June 1 at Mandalay Bay. To find inspiration, experts advocate looking to Pantone’s Color Palette for the season, watching what’s trending on the runways and red carpets, and also exploring new takes on bestselling classics.
Pantone Colors have proven to be significant trend forecasters, a powerful tool for communicating color. Victoria Gomelsky, editor in chief JCK Magazine/JCKonline hails an array of gemstones able to complement the Pantone palette, particularly from gem families with lots of options like quartz, garnet, tourmaline, beryl, topaz, spinel, opal, sapphire, and diamond.
The Fall 2015 Pantone palette is rooted in multi-faceted, androgynous colors that can be worn to portray effortless sophistication across women’s and men’s fashion; it is the first time we’re seeing a truly unisex color palette, describes Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “This Fall, designers pay homage to progressive moments in American history—from the seductive ‘20s to the bohemian hippie and modernists of the ‘60s and ‘70s—while stringing together an affection for colors and styling that are easy to wear.”
Eiseman describes the palette as weaving earthy neutrals with bold color statements and patterns to reflect a landscape of hope, fun, fantasy and all things natural. Top hues: Desert Sage (cool greenish-gray); Stormy Weather (powerful blue-gray); Dried Herb (organic shade aromatic of earthy fragrances); Oak Buff (mellow golden-yellow); Biscay Bay (tropical teal); Reflecting Pond (cooling anchor blue); and Cadmium Orange (warm peachy hue) as well as Cashmere Rose (soft pink). While Marsala (winey red-brown) was hailed Color of the Year for 2015, Eiseman says Amethyst Orchid is the jewel in the crown of fall: “Intriguing, vibrant and sensual, this enigmatic shade is an extraordinary hue that is unique, bold, creative and exciting.”
Gomelsky sees blue gems remaining a market favorite, with turquoise important for the season. “Turquoise is always great for summer, but more and more it’s a gem that transcends seasons.” She notes that many jewelers are exploring a range of semi-precious gems to translate popular colors in fashion designs. Moreover, she credits fashion’s big ‘70s push as inspiring the use of turquoise and other hard stones in bold looks.
The trend in color is really anything goes, says Maren Rosen, vice president of Bridal and Jewelry, Stuller, Lafayette, Louisiana. “We’re seeing strong statements for gem cabochons, bigger pieces in milky cabs, faceted and flat cabs for rings, earrings and pendants ranging from simple prong details to framed in a halo of diamonds or gems.”
Runways & Red Carpets
Tracking runway trends, Jennifer Heebner, senior editor, JCK Magazine/JCKonline.com says jewelers looking to accessorize the high necklines, prints, and ‘70s silhouettes seen during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York should look to statement earrings, long swingy chains, metal-intense styles, motifs like owls and feathers, and lots of yellow gold.
Heebner hails fun earring jackets that look fringed on the lobe as appealing to younger shoppers. In fact, she advises fine jewelers give customers choices to buy into these modern styles in precious materials. “There are plenty of jewelry designers with karat gold and gem options of front-to-back earrings, ear climbers and cuffs, and studs and jackets to supplement more traditional store selections.”
Concurs Laura Gladfelter, brand manager, Alison and Ivy, division of the Chicago-based Fantasy Diamond: “Mismatched earrings and name jewelry was big on the fall runways so we’re looking forward to see variations of those trends as well.”
Pearls also are wildly popular. “Pearl details and statement necklaces were a huge trend at the Oscars,” cites Gladfelter. “Lupita Nyong’o’s Calvin Klein dress made of 6000 pearls made quite an impact and we are expecting to see this trend carry over to the fall season.” Rosen notes that while there’s still interest in South Sea and Tahitian cultured pearls, Chinese freshwater has stolen the spotlight—a strong category for the prices, qualities, colors, and sizes available.
With gold prices down as much as they are, Gomelsky says silver is getting a run for its money, as more consumers go back to gold over vermeil. While everyone is buzzing about rose gold, popular in bridal, yellow gold is what everyone’s talking about in fashion jewelry. “The biggest trend on everybody’s lips this season is gold,” touts Karen Crowe, Marketing and Merchandising, Quality Gold, Fairfield, Ohio. “With the new Leslie’s 2015 addendum just released, it’s quite noticeable that yellow gold is trending. Strong sales in heavier weights of earrings, bracelets and necklaces have been noticeable.”
Rosen concurs that gold in 14K and 18K is strong in fashion and bridal. She says the warm hues of yellow and green gold are especially the market; particularly in special finishes, hammered, satin, bead blast. “We’re seeing more gold buying and our customers are reporting growth in gold transactions.” She adds that platinum remains important, particularly in bridal and across Stuller’s bench jeweler base for remounts and custom work.
There’s a strong back to basics direction, says Rosen, especially for rubies, emeralds and sapphires of all colors. She also cites lots of interest in color diamonds set in rhodium-plated designs, both contrasted and tonal color schemes, in black, brown, blue, yellow, and some pink. “The mantra is the best in color no matter what the gem.”
2014 was all about color, style and individuality, which will continue in 2015, concurs Allison Goodman, director of merchandising, Frederick Goldman, New York. “One of the biggest trends in jewelry: stackable rings for bridal and fashion that you can mix and match, layering a variety of colors and styles.”
In diamonds, new takes on dancing diamonds and multi diamond designs like Fantasy Diamond’s Endless Embrace has been popular the past few seasons. “Endless Embrace uses a special touch setting that allows the diamonds to fit together without prongs, creating a big look at a fraction of the cost,” says Gladfelter, who sees this trend continuing with fresh, new designs. Other trends for fall: diamond monograms, script font, and secret message jewelry like the Alison and Ivy Morse Code Monograms.
Swarovski has identified in Gem Visions trends research the tiara and headband as key products for creative design. While important in bridal, tiaras have reappeared on the high-fashion stage; an arena that offers designers and brands the potential for differentiation through outstanding statement pieces, says Dr. Birgit Rieder, director gem creative and retail marketing genuine and created stones for Swarovski, with U.S. headquarters in Cranston, Rhode Island. “The tiara occupies a unique place in the field of bridge and fine jewelry. For craftsmen, it’s nothing less than a master class in jewelry making, testing the talent and passion of its creators.”