Compiled by Irina Missiuro
“Pearls are everywhere!” observes Jen Cullen Williams, managing director at Luxury Brand Group in Los Angeles, who notes that gold and pearls will be hand-in-hand headed into next year. Some earring styles that stand out include tiny pearls set in gold bezels that hang from long, thin gold bars, and drop earrings featuring pearls hanging from gold chains. Asymmetrical pearls are also huge, she notes; women are beginning to favor wearing pearls of different shapes and sizes in each ear. The same goes for earrings that display pearls in the front and in the back.
Earrings are not the only category that’s taking advantage of the pearl. Williams is seeing stylish gold cuffs featuring tension-set pearls, as well as gold bypass rings with pearls on each end. She says that white is not the only pearl color that’s trending— every imaginable pearl style is hip, including Tahitian and baroque pearls.
Williams says that the biggest trend in yellow and white gold right now is hoop earrings. “All kinds of hoops are in—big, small, with diamonds or gemstones.” The evergreen classic is a bit skinnier these days, she points out, and usually accented. During the recent JCK Las Vegas Show, Williams saw everything from pavé hoops covered in semi- precious stones to earrings featuring stones hanging from metal loops attached to hoops—reminiscent of charms on a bracelet.
Curvatures are seen in every category of jewelry, with designers favoring movement and fluidity over the predictability of safe choices from the past. Rings and bracelets that wrap around the fingers and wrists are big—in every sense of the word. Bulky and chic, they encircle the body in multiple layers of gold, often containing small, pavé-set diamonds. Necklaces get in on the trend as well. Instead of straight lines, they now feature curved ones, which cause the piece to look softer, less structured, says Williams. The bar necklace has been reinterpreted to become the bend necklace.
“We are seeing more and more designs emerging that allow for a versatile look,” says Jill Moynihan, manager of marketing and communications for Platinum Guild International USA in New York City. “A versatile piece of jewelry allows the customer to fall even deeper in love with her purchase as it transforms with her and accentuates her individualism.” For example, she notes that the earring lines that are appealing to modern women are those that feature a stud at the base that can be worn either alone or with added extensions, transforming the earrings from a day- time look into an evening style.
“Featherstone Fine Jewelry does an amazing job with this,” points out Moynihan, who says that the company’s earrings have up to three potential components: tops that can be worn alone, bellies that can be added to the tops for a bigger look, and enhancers that can be added to create an even bigger look.
This trend toward versatility extends beyond earrings. Moynihan notes that the recently launched Platinum Born designs a line of adapt- able necklaces and bracelets that can be accessorized in multiple ways. “Within the line, there is a magnetic strand that can be worn as a Y necklace or even wrapped around your wrist as a bracelet, and there is a lariat, which has movable platinum mirror ball beads, that allows the wearer to customize the length and the positioning of the necklace depending on specific desires.”
This trend comprises jewelry that can be worn together—as a stack, layered, or a mix-and-match collection. Moynihan thinks that this type of jewelry appeals to a wide audience because it is fitting for both gifting and self-purchase. “All women identify with this trend; the younger generation is exploring its individuality by mixing and matching slender and stylized looks, while older generations look for higher-quality design and materials to commemorate adult milestones they have achieved.”
Moynihan says that she’s seeing the stackable trend with necklaces and bracelets, pieces that have more of a layering effect. “A woman will layer a few necklaces together that complement one another. Designers’ inner collections pair well with one another, and a consumer can get a realistic feel of how to layer through lifestyle imagery often seen on social media channels.”
Gloria Maccaroni of the Silver Promotion Service in New York City predicts outsized, intricate designs will be popular. As an example of this trend, she cites a large silver latticework cuff bangle accented with 18k yellow gold by Phillip Gavriel. The same applies to earrings. She says that no matter the style—be they multiple hoops, hoops within hoops, decorative earrings, or sculptural ones with or without large stones—they will be statement pieces. “It’ll be an important earring—all a person would wear,” she explains. The type of earrings customers will be clamoring for will be the ones that stand out—unique pieces that require no other jewelry as an accompaniment.
While earrings may go the stand-alone route, rings will be worn in multiples, on most fingers, says Maccaroni. Women will be mixing large cocktail rings featuring a combination of colored stones with bold and sculpted rings. Be they textured or smooth, the bands are expected to be wide and noticeable. Maccaroni says to expect many “sculpted, bold, ornate, and modern” pieces that are reminiscent of the cocktail rings of the 1970s.
Many of the coming season’s pieces will feature symbols as statements, says Maccaroni. You’ll be seeing this trend on bracelets as well as on necklaces. Whatever is important to women, they’ll be able to say it with jewelry. For instance, Maccaroni notes that younger ladies will be able to show everyone that they’re social-media savvy with hashtags, which decorate necks and wrists, echoing their Instagram and Facebook pages. Other symbols are more sentimental. For example, Alex Woo’s silver and enamel paw necklace lets the world know you are either a cat or a dog mom.
The latest silver looks feature bold shapes, says Maccaroni. You’ll be seeing sculptured modern neckpieces with larger, heavier links. She also points out that, although the trend is leaning toward bigger pieces, “designers are using silver in innovative ways to show scale while keeping price points down.” In the coming season, chains will feature elaborate designs, such as stone accents, large-scale pendants, and personable touches.
The same “bigger is better” logic applies to bracelets. Maccaroni explains that the clothing fashions are less ornate now, so the accessories are becoming more dominant. Today’s attire trends tend to lean toward simplistic design, where textures and fabrics—not the decorative details—are of interest, she says. It falls to the jewelry to adorn; hence, sizeable wrist wear comes into play. Looking forward, Maccaroni anticipates mixed layering of bold bracelets along with sizeable bangles and cuffs.
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