Jewel trends

What are the most im­por­tant jewel trends of 2013?

Plaza Watch International - - Contents - wo r d s VIC­TO­RIA GOMELSKY

The jew­ellery lex­i­con gained a new turn of phrase last year, and if you’re a lover of baubles you surely heard it: arm party. Re­fer­ring to the vogue for wear­ing stacks of cuffs, ban­gles and colour­ful friend­ship bracelets up and down the arms, the term is – par­don the pun – a handy way of sum­ming up the ex­u­ber­ant at­ti­tude to­wards jew­ellery that de­fines the cur­rent mo­ment in fash­ion.

From the me­dia blitz sur­round­ing Pan­tone’s 2013 colour of the year (emer­ald) to the hotly an­tic­i­pated re­lease of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great

Gatsby (and its drip­ping-in-di­a­monds art deco styling), the at­ten­tion be­ing heaped on jew­ellery of late is un­de­ni­able.

Take the knuckle- and dou­ble-fin­ger rings that started to ap­pear in droves in 2012. De­signed for women un­afraid to make a state­ment, the rings el­e­vated the look of heavy metal hard­ware – on your fin­gers, yes, but also around your neck in dra­matic col­lar- or bib­style neck­laces, and of course in fierce stacks of ban­gles cov­er­ing nearly ev­ery bit of your fore­arms – to most cov­eted sta­tus.

Be­jew­elled ar­mour, how­ever, isn’t the only thing trend­ing in the jew­ellery uni­verse. We’ve iden­ti­fied 10 trends that will guide the con­ver­sa­tion in the year to come:

TREND 1 The Colour: Green

Pan­tone, the famed colour author­ity, be­gan to anoint a Colour of the Year in 2001, but the 2013 se­lec­tion, emer­ald, has touched off a frenzy of me­dia cov­er­age that’s made past colours seem pale in com­par­i­son. Con­spir­acy the­o­rists might at­tribute the un­beat­able PR to some shady ma­noeu­vring on the part of Gem­fields, the Lon­don-based min­ing com­pany that’s mak­ing a name for its Zam­bian emer­alds with a new ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign star­ring actress Mila Ku­nis, but the truth is that a rich shade of green per­fectly em­bod­ies the zeit­geist. “Lively. Ra­di­ant. Lush… A colour of el­e­gance and beauty that en­hances our sense of well-be­ing, bal­ance and har­mony,” ac­cord­ing to Pan­tone. For jew­ellers – in­clud­ing Bul­gari, Chopard, and Cartier, all of whom are be­sot­ted with emer­ald – May’s birth­stone makes an­other com­pelling state­ment: cha-ching.

TREND 2 The Gem­stone: Boul­der Opal

Irene Neuwirth, a South­ern Cal­i­for­nia-based designer known for her care­free, beach-babe style, was among the first de­sign­ers to bring boul­der opal to the at­ten­tion of dis­cern­ing luxury con­sumers, and now the ma­te­rial is pop­ping up ev­ery­where. Boul­der opal boasts opal’s sig­na­ture play of colour, in ad­di­tion to an aes­thetic all its own: an iron­stone ma­trix that can look like a rich brown slab of ma­hogany wood in­laid with opales­cent peb­bles. The ubiq­uity of the gem – check out Hous­ton-based Emily Ar­menta’s chic boul­der opal ban­gles – in no way sug­gests that de­signs that in­cor­po­rate it look alike. On the con­trary, one-of-a-kind colour com­bi­na­tions are boul­der opal’s most fetch­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic.

TREND 3 The Cut: Cabo­chon

For a few years, sliced gem­stones (di­a­monds, ru­bies and sap­phires, in par­tic­u­lar) ruled the jew­ellery scene. This year, how­ever, slices have been sup­planted by the cabo­chon, the term for gems that have been cut and pol­ished but not faceted. Whereas the cabo­chon’s smooth round shape (the word is de­rived from the Mid­dle French caboche, which means head) was tra­di­tion­ally re­served for stones with in­clu­sions that made them un­suit­able for faceting, the style has popped up in high-end col­lec­tions in re­cent months, sug­gest­ing that the once lowly look is seiz­ing its mo­ment in the sun.

TREND 4 The Pe­riod: Art Deco

Orig­i­nally slated to open last Christ­mas, The Great Gatsby, a film adap­ta­tion of F. Scott Fitzger­ald’s iconic novel of 1920s deca­dence, star­ring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mul­li­gan, is due to bow this sum­mer. Ex­pect the art deco ma­nia ac­com­pa­ny­ing its re­lease to hit a crescendo in the months to come – “and not just in jew­ellery,” says Jen­nie Ma, the fash­ion and beauty edi­tor for the bridal web­site TheKnot. com. “Plates, set­tings, wed­ding style. We think Art deco is go­ing to be ev­ery­where.” The straight lines and white sheen of Ja­cob & Co.’s amethyst and pal­la­dium dou­ble-strand neck­lace demon­strate how de­sign­ers are putting a mode rn and classy spin on jew­ellery’s hands-down favourite era.

TREND 5 The Fash­ion: Mod

Ev­ery sea­son has its muse. Some years, fash­ion takes its col­lec­tive cues from the bo­hemian free spirit epit­o­mized by Talitha Getty, circa 1969 in Mar­rakech. Other years, Brigitte Bar­dot’s va-va-voom curves, or Au­drey Hep­burn’s mod­ern fem­i­nin­ity in­spire the sea­son’s most ar­dent homages. This year, the ap­parel in­dus­try’s ob­ses­sion with black and white com­bi­na­tions re­calls the mod aes­thetic as­so­ci­ated with 1960s It Girl Twiggy. Jew­ellery in bold gold or clear retro styles – the lat­ter in­cor­po­rat­ing rock crys­tal or Lu­cite – is the per­fect foil. Just look to David Yur­man’s sig­na­ture ca­ble bracelets as an ex­am­ple of how to con­trast black-and-white cloth­ing with lus­cious pops of yel­low gold – or study Vh­ernier’s be­guil­ing mis­matched black and white di­a­mond ear­rings for a tu­to­rial on how to up­stage cloth­ing al­to­gether.

TREND 6 The Style: Lay­er­ing

The price of gold went up and up – and though it’s slipped from the heights it reached in 2012, de­sign­ers are still gun-shy about in­cor­po­rat­ing the metal into heavy (read: costly) solid-gold pieces. That ex­plains the ex­plo­sion of del­i­cate, sweet karat-gold styles be­ing po­si­tioned as ideal lay­er­ing pieces. Be they dainty pen­dants, wispy-thin ban­gles, or nar­row stack­ing rings that can be pur­chased one at a time, jew­els are prac­ti­cally beg­ging to be piled on. Con­sider it a handy way of stock­ing up for the (in­evitable) next gold rush.

TREND 7 The Point: State­ments

This sea­son, take a page from Lady Gaga. Side­lined by a hip in­jury, Mother Mon­ster has landed in a wheel­chair, al­beit one that’s been plated with 24-karat gold and kit­ted out with tufted black leather seats and a re­mov­able canopy. De­signed by jeweller Ken Boro­chov, the chair obeys the over­rid­ing rule among jew­ellery afi­ciona­dos this year: Do not go qui­etly. Rather, make a clam­orous en­trance or exit. The eas­i­est way to do so is with a state­ment piece—like Chopard’s red car­pet-ready chan­de­lier ear­rings or ec­cen­tric, gem-laden daisy-chain of a neck­lace. In fact, the Swiss jeweller made its best state­ment yet at the Os­cars when it out­fit­ted best actress win­ner Jen­nifer Lawrence with a di­a­mond beaded neck­lace worn back­wards, and sub­se­quently dubbed the “back­lace.” And here’s what the state­ment said: If you wish to be con­sid­ered fash­ion­able, you’re well ad­vised to start speak­ing the new jew­ellery lan­guage.

TREND 9 The Mod­ern Bride: Un­con­ven­tional

Cou­ples are still seal­ing their en­gage­ments with rings, but bear in mind that among fash­ion-for­ward brides there runs a thick streak of non­con­for­mity that re­flects the im­pact of cut­ting-edge de­sign­ers, who’ve flocked to the cat­e­gory in search of a re­ces­sion-proof niche. Be­sides, to­day’s grow­ing pref­er­ence for un­con­ven­tional en­gage­ment rings, from black di­a­mond soli­taires (à la the 5-carat stun­ner in Sex and

the City 2) to stacks of pa­per-thin bands bear­ing a mere dust­ing of stones, seems a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion for a tra­di­tion that be­gan with Arch­duke Max­i­m­il­ian of Aus­tria’s 1477 pro­posal to Mary of Bur­gundy. His choice of be­trothal sym­bol is rou­tinely de­scribed as the world’s first di­a­mond en­gage­ment ring. More than 500 years later, brides are fi­nally ready to switch things up.

TREND 8 The Metal: Rose Gold

Al­loyed with vary­ing amounts of cop­per – the more there is, the rosier the fi­nal prod­uct – pink gold be­gan win­ning over the watch in­dus­try a few years ago, when a few nos­tal­gic mak­ers were re­minded of its preva­lence in 1950s time­pieces. Jew­ellers have been slower to jump aboard the bandwagon, but thanks to a fash­ion­able flock of de­sign­ers who’ve paired rose gold with black or brown di­a­monds, or black­ened sil­ver, to great ef­fect, the metal has gained cur­rency. Now that brides, once fa­mously com­mit­ted to the sim­plic­ity of a di­a­mond set in white gold or plat­inum, are em­brac­ing the pale blush of rose gold in their wed­ding rings, ex­pect to see the metal in ever more fash­ion­able col­lec­tions.

TREND 10 The Mo­tif: Snakes

Don’t be star­tled by the le­gions of snakes slith­er­ing through jew­ellery show­cases this sea­son. With 2013 billed as the Year of the Snake on the Chi­nese cal­en­dar, the slinky rep­tile is bol­ster­ing a big fash­ion bur­den. Bedecked with di­a­monds or sleekly fash­ioned from pure gold, the popular mo­tif is at once an­cient and con­tem­po­rary, ow­ing to the snake’s trans­for­ma­tive sym­bol­ism. For their part, de­sign­ers have in­ter­preted the coiled rep­tile in myr­iad ways. Sub­tlety un­der­scores the new Ser­pent Bo­hème col­lec­tion of links from Boucheron, which fea­ture teardrop-shaped set­tings ringed with gold beads, sug­ges­tive of snake­heads, while most ren­der­ings rely on a faith­ful rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the ser­pent’s familiar, and se­duc­tive, curves.

Ch o pa rd e a rri n gs

Bou che ron Ser pen t Bo hèm e pe nda nt

D a v i d Y u r m a n l a r g e c a ble b r a c ele ts

I li a n a M a k r i r i n g

Ja co b& Co .p alla di um an da me th ys t ne ck la ce

A r m e n t a b o u l d e r o p al b a n g les

A le x a n d r a Mo r e eme r al d r i n g f ea Gem f i el d s Z am b i a n eme r al d s tur­ing

Mimi So rose gold pen­dant

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