By Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg
Younger, Cooler, Sexier… True Luxe Design Pops at New York City’s Hot Summer Shows.
Everything at the Summer Shows was about a totally alluring design story, embracing an unabashed sense of hipness, richness, and sexiness, all mixed together with a magnificent array of multi-fantastical jewels. These sparkling events took place at the July 2014 editions of JA New York, at the Javits Center, and the boutique show, Luxury Privé, held this year at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Contrary to the regular premise of “all that glitters is gold” when thinking about what defines fine jewelry (not to mention the changing customer profile of the target consumer who wants the “now,” the “new,” and the “latest and greatest” in high-end pieces), the JA Show’s New Designer and Inner Circle sections focused on a youthful, uniquely different story, with lots more than the de rigueur mainstream gold, silver, and platinum pieces.
Over at the Waldorf, Luxury Privé set the tone for sophistication, glamour, dazzle, and chi-chi style. Because of the show’s small size, buyers and the press were able to get up close and personal with many of the brands. The pieces displayed offered a generous sampling of contemporary and vintage-inspired jewels, accessories, and home décor, from simple to fun and whimsical, passing by Red Carpet designs.
For this writer, the story at the Summer Shows was all about the big, buxom cuff, charm and bangle bracelets, single and multi-stone cocktail, wedding and engagement rings (the bigger the better), earrings (especially those that wrapped around or up the ear, or sensually swooped around the face), necklaces, pendants, sexy cufflinks, chains, tie bars, etc. Gold was well represented in a variety of colors, ranging from 14K and 18K to 22K, as was palladium and platinum. Sterling silver was paired with pearls, gemstones, and diamonds. Among the most popular gems were moonstone, opal, spinel, quartz in all its forms, and tourmaline. Playing off the old adage “the devil is in the details,” more than just a few designers focused on strong textural applications such as braiding and weaving, as well as a myriad of intricate faceting and filigree techniques.
Glittering here were lots of fashion-forward and innovative mixes of opulent and colorful diamonds (most notably and more often than not seen in an array of unusual cuts and faceted detailing), multi-colored stones, pearls (small and huge in many sizes, alone or in clusters, some mixed up with a dizzying array of precious stones, and eye-catching all-metal pieces. Trends, by and large, threaded from classical and haute modern, through to Brooklyn hipster, to Antique and Vintage Collectible, all the way through to Ethnic and Royal.
In general, and as predicted at the beginning of 2014 by Cynthia Unninayar, Editor-in-Chief of CIJ TRENDS & COLOURS, in the magazine’s Winter 2014 Trends Guide issue (a digital version can be viewed at www.CIJintl.com), the design trends seen at the Summer shows were right on point. Delightful, scintillating, youthful, and sharp, they evoked the must-have looks of the moment and of the season.
COLOR, COLOR, COLOR:
- Left: Colorful “Marea Sunset” necklace by Vianna Brasil.
Center: Enamel and gold earrings by Evocateur.
Right: Blue and green combine harmoniously in this ring by Bhansali.
Single hues or multi-mixtures across nearly every design palette with a multitude of contrasting and/or complimentary in-between hues were at work this summer.
- Left: Striking pendant in opal, diamonds, and gold by Lika Behar.
Center: Rainbow moonstone and silver earrings by Bluemoonstone Creations.
Right: Moonstone, gold, and diamond butterfly ring by Michael John Jewelry.
A multiplicity of super-soft pastels, sweet and tart candy shadings, all the way through to neutrals and zany ultra-brights were rendered in varied gems, enamels, metals, and pearls. Trending strongly in the colored gem category are opals and moonstones.
- Left: Gold, enamel, and gemstone bracelet in the Bee Collection by Gumuchian.
Center: Carved peacock cameo pendant with gemstones set in gold by Syna.
Right: Lovely flowers are evoked in silver and gemstones by Garden of Silver.
Nature is it and nature is all around us. Butterflies took high honors at the summer shows but were followed closely by flowers, birds, snakes, fish, and jungle animals. Just about every kind of creative critter, whether flying, walking, or swimming, made a special appearance in every kind of design motif imaginable. Apart from the critter craze, a major trend was towards “natural” jewelry composed of drusies, rough stones, lava, meteorites, and other non-traditional and natural jewelry components.
- Left: Fashionable gold and gemstone cuff by Ankit Malpani.
Right: An airy, lacy silver and colored gemstone pendant by Thistle & Bee.
What started as a counterpoint to high metals prices has become a design element of its own. Airy and openwork creations evoking lace were apparent in all types of metals and materials.
TODAY’S TASSELS AND WRISTWEAR:
- Left: Bold, wide cuff in gold, tourmalines, and diamonds by H.Weiss.
Right: A new twist on tassels as charms in this colorful piece by Stephanie Kantis.
Used in the past to finish off a piece, tassels are now a major design element in their own right, coming of age in a wide variety of gems, seed pearls, metals, and other materials. Cuffs and stackable bracelets offer a wide look, in metals and other materials.
ON THE EDGE:
- Edgy knuckle ring in diamonds and gold by Meghna.
Skulls, spikes, and skeletons epitomize the edgy trend. These motifs have become so popular that even mainstream brands are working “on the edge.” Many more designers walk near the edge, hinting at the trend in their own way.
EXOTIC EARWEAR AND ROBUST RINGS:
- Left: Statement-making ear-climbers in sapphire and gold by Rina Limor.
Right: Double ring in smoky quartz, diamonds, and gold by Marcia Budet.
Directional earwear is rising up and over the top. While hoops are still all around, the biggest news is the more directional ear-cuff and ear-climber stories, rendered in every material imaginable, and accented with all kinds of diamonds and gemstones. Another fast-rising trend can be seen in multi-finger rings, covering much of the hand, and knuckle rings, which cover most of the finger, a bit like a suit of armor.
In addition to the major design directions listed above, a number of minor trends were also observed at the Summer Shows.
ODD AND UNDERGROUND MIXTURES
- Left: The natural look in blackened palladium and diamonds by TAP by Todd Pownell.
Center: Lacy knuckle ring by Angelique de Paris.
Right: This leather and diamond bracelet by Alisa pairs the traditional with the non-traditional.
(think contemporary and vintage looks) of dark and sensual (black on black, black on navy blue, for example) were seen across more than just a few bracelets, rings, brooches, and earrings. Unexpected varieties embraced intricate renderings of rubber, diamonds, leather, pearls, silver, platinum, and more.
- Left: Delicate oval locket in gold and pearls by Just Jules.
Center: Airy opal and gemstone cuff by Shawn Ames.
Right: Graceful “Shooting Star” bracelet in gold and gemstone by Ed Levin.
A number of designers looked towards ETHNIC OR ROYAL MOTIFS with large eye-popping, seductively colored, over-the-top, mixed metal, jewel-encrusted, pieces, including long necklaces, multi-size cuffs, bangles, bracelets, and toe and finger rings. Placed together, these elaborate pieces evoke feelings of grandeur, from far-off, exotic lands to the courts of Europe.
- Left: Sumptuous pearl and gemstone necklace by Yoko London.
Right: Baroque pearl on a cord by Jane A. Gordon.
continue to be cherished for their beauty and sensuality and are favored by many designers. Whether round or baroque, white or multi-colored, pearls pay homage to the sophisticated fashion girl with an eye to owning and wearing the richness and opulence of pearls where anything goes: long or short strands, chokers, bracelets, earrings, rings, and brooches.
- Left: Wave diamond ring by A.Link.
Center: Luxurious diamond and gold ring by Coronet.
Right: Combining the world of jewelry and accessories is this “Sky Flower Bag” by Orrana, in crocodile leather, accented with aquamarines, green beryl, and diamonds with matching ring, earrings and pendant.
are always dazzling, in every shape, cut, and color. The old cuts share space with the most brilliant solitaires in today’s fashionable and luxurious jewelry.
Masculine, decidedly bold, and sexy, the MENSWEAR jewelry story is everywhere, stylized and delicious in a myriad of gold, silver, platinum, or mixed metals combined with diamonds, gems, and enamel stylized.
- Left: Sterling and leather men’s bracelet by Robert Manse.
Right: Men’s silver ring and cufflinks by Samuel B.
Smooth or textured, discreet or bold, bracelets, cufflinks, rings, neckpieces, and more are part and parcel of men’s fashion today.