Editors joke that when you see three of something, that’s a trend. By that simple standard, the mega-trends of the jewelry business circa 2015 are yellow gold, stackable rings and bracelets, geometric motifs, jewels that make artful use of negative space, homages to Art Deco, and opals, opals, opals. Going into jewelry market week here in Las Vegas, we expected to see these things, and we were not disappointed.
But of course we expected to see so much more. Here’s my take on the trends that blew up at JCK Las Vegas 2015, as well as a glimpse of what’s coming next (hint: the sinuous and organic forms and nature-inspired motifs of the Art Nouveau movement are close on Deco’s heels).
1. The Shape: Baguette
I used to think of baguette diamonds as a holdover from the 1950s, when all those swirling designs incorporated the modern cut in distinctive spray silhouettes that today seem so charmingly dated. Based on the ubiquity of the cut at this year’s jewelry market week, however, I think it’s safe to say that jewelry historians of the future will associate the baguette—rendered in diamonds and colored stones—as the definitive cut of the Teens.
Next up: Look for the retro marquise cut to make a comeback.
2. The Style: Collar Necklaces
Ladies, I hope you’re happy with your neck. Because it’s about to get a lot of attention. Collar necklaces were everywhere in Vegas. The open kind that cuff the neck, don’t require a clasp, and feature gemstone- or pavé-studded finial caps were especially popular.
Next up: The fall season’s obsession with pins and brooches resonated with jewelers, who are starting to show more of the once-dated, now-fashionable style.
3. The Motif: Butterflies
My favorite take on the motif du jour was at Roseark’s booth in the Design Center at JCK Las Vegas, where I admired the butterfly pendants—made to look antique thanks to a Japanese metalsmithing technique—by Los Angeles–based James Banks (founded by Alice in Wonderland jewelry and prop designer Heidi Nahser Fink and Adam Shulman, actress Anne Hathaway’s husband). The diamond-dusted titanium lovely at La Reina’s booth at LUXURY was another standout.
Next up: I’m putting my money on the next iteration of coin jewelry.
4. The Gemstone: Rubies
As supplies go, you can’t beat the mother lode of rubies coming out of the Gemfields-owned Montepuez mine in Mozambique. Consequently, the red stone is cropping up in all kinds of designer collections. It doesn’t hurt that red makes such a strong presence in the fall fashion lineup.
Next up: Amethyst is on the brink of its moment in the sun. Even the bridal specialists at Kirk Kara recognized that, and infused the regal purple gem into its newest engagement rings.