By Helena Krodel
During the New York City Fashion Week in fall 2012, Pantone—the color experts known in the fashion and fine jewelry industry for their biannual trend forecasting tool—identified Monaco Blue (a rich cobalt and navy hybrid) as a key color for spring 2013, and later announced Emerald as the 2013 “color of the year.” A lively and radiant shade of green, this lush color conjures thoughts of nature and, of course, green emerald gemstones (lucky for us in the jewelry industry).
Below are all ten of Pantone’s 2013 spring colors:
Fashion experts also expected an abundance of black and white clothing for the 2013 season—which could mean women will be using colored gemstones as punches of color when accessorizing. Below are examples of the gems that could be used with the general spring colors:
Blue: Aquamarine, blur topaz, iolite, lapis lazuli, opal, sapphire, spinel, tanzanite.
Green: Chrysoprase, green ametrine, green tourmaline, jade, periodot, tsavorite, zircon.
Orange: Amber, citrine, garnet, fire opal, mandarin garnet, orange sapphire.
An ode to the great Oz, Pantone hails emerald as the color of the year—and jewelers who use the traditional, valuable gemstone will be on trend without even trying. But have no fear if emeralds rarely make it into your line: affordable green gems such as peridot, garnet, jadeite, chalcedony, tourmaline, zircon, and chrome or star diopside will also have you seeing green.
From lime to hunter, all shades of green are enjoying a comeback after decades of being blacklisted. Visions of shag rugs and lime green refrigerators are long gone. Today, the color green represents eco-friendliness, money, and earthy fashion sense. Minty and milky greens in particular will be hot in fashion this spring, as will accent colors of sunshine yellow, hot pink, turquoise blue, and celery green. What have you got in your line to make those colors pop?
In fashion, everything is cyclical. When a trend sways too drastically in one direction, inevitably counter trend develops alongside it. Fall and winter 2012 brought an abundance of adornment with fashions inspired by the Baroque era, so this spring look for the counterbalance of clean and simple to emerge. Think 1960s-inspired geometric lines, notably clean collar necklaces that sit just above the clavicle. Simple stacks of rings and bangles will also be popular, often mixing silver and gold, thick and thin.
But remember, clean doesn’t mean boring. Spiked accents, which were everywhere over the past two seasons, will show up in the form of cones, rivets, pyramids, and bullets as decorative accents on fine jewelry.
Black and White and Gatsby All Over
Black and white has quickly emerged as one of this spring’s biggest trend themes. From stripes to polka dots to color blocking, the combo will be relentless once the weather turns warm. Add to that the upcoming summer release of the film The Great Gatsby, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, and you’ve got a match made in fashionista heaven. Modern spins on Art Deco ensembles and jewelry will abound this season, with black and white diamond jewelry looks leading the pack. Try blackened silver for a modern and edgy backdrop for this trend.
Every few seasons, bohemian fashion trends pop up. This time around the look is less hippie and more haute. Fine jewelry that is equal parts bohemian (artsy) and bombshell (refined) will be popular this spring in sterling, often featuring colored gemstones. Look for neutral gems to take center stage here, including hematite, tiger’s eye, agate, rutilated quartz, and diamonds in champagne, brown, and black hues. Pairing these materials with leather, tassels, and fringe will offer the desired effect.
Photos courtesy of (from top) Russell Starr (Alexandra Mor), Barry Blau (Claudia Endler), and Michael Pfeffer (Vicente Agor)
Pity the Poor Fool Without a Chain...
All things 1980s have moonwalked their way back into people’s hearts—including the beloved chains that Mr. T made famous. And like Mr. T, the styles for 2013 will be large and have an impact. Key trends include:
• Large, hand-hammered chain links (right).
• Tassel chain necklaces, in which the tassels hang north-south and cascade to a point, forming a “V.”
• Multiple chain necklaces of varying lengths attached together by one easy-to-use lobster clawclasp, for easy-on, easy-off, one-clasp styling.
• Chain-link chokers (another eighties throwback).
Here are three non-traditional ways that chains will be incorporated into fine jewelry:
• Earrings with dangling chains.
• Dainty and delicate chain rings (meant for the pinky finger, perhaps).
• Sectioned rings connected by chains (inspired by knuckle rings) and ring-cuffs (rings and cuffs connected by one or more chains).
Given today’s bearish metal and high metal costs, sterling silver (along with its more exotic-looking cousin, blackened silver) should continue to be the precious metal of choice. Palladium, which has typically been less than half the price of white gold, could well emerge as another favorite metal.
A Charmed Life
Anyone with a penchant for pendants can see that necklace and bracelet charms have also become a huge category. From initials to crosses to signs and symbols, these personal pendants fill collections and cases ubiquitously. (They’ve also necessitated many different styles of chain-link necklaces and bracelets; long, short, thin, thick—all are in fashion.) Merchandising will make the difference here; designers should not be afraid to offer a vast array of styles in every metal and size, as they all should sell.
A few key trends to watch for:
• Floral, vintage, and enameled charms.
• Dangle-style charms (right), loved for their movement.
• Leather bracelets to make sweet charms look a little “naughty.”
A Bead on Baroque
Life is not simple, and neither is one of the major fashion trends for 2013: Ornateness and abundantly decorated garments. Baroque is big, and this trend will no doubt continue into 2013 (even as the countertrend of clean and simple emerges; see above). Jewelry will complement this trend, with carved beads (below) being one way that designers demonstrate their appreciation for decoration.
Other popular 2013 bead styles include:
• “Bling” and bejeweled beads—highly anticipated and copacetic with fashion’s sparkle obsession.
• Open-work beads—translated from the world of fine jewelry (where the concept allowed for a larger look while saving on precious metal costs).
• Golden beads—because ornate is in, and gold says luxury.
• “Black magic beads”—carved beads with textured silver accents, suitable for black leather and black lace outfits.
Photos courtesy of (from top) Rings & Things, Hera Designs, and Galatea: Jewelry by Artist.