4 Trends That Will Shape 2017

According to Swarovski, a backlash to technology is driving consumer desire to reconnect with the earth

It may seem premature to be talking about 2017, but if you think like a trend forecaster, you have to take the long view. Or so I learned a couple of weeks ago, when I attended Swarovski’s Spring/Summer 2017 Crystal Design Inspirations launch event—called “The Balance of Nature”—at its downtown Los Angeles showroom.

The opening presentation focused on macro-economic trends influencing our lives.

For example: Urbanization is on the rise. By 2050, over 70 percent of the population will live in cities. As a result, we’re seeing a backlash. The popularity of remote travel destinations reflects our desire to reconnect mind with body. We crave wellness and tranquility.

The popularity of raw foods and juicing, as well as the rise of meditation retreats, are examples of society’s increasing obsession with wellness.

The remarks were meant to give context to the four ornate crystal flags displayed in the showroom, each patterned after a classic element: air, earth, water, and fire. Assembled in the Austrian crystal maker’s headquarters every season (see photo below), the flags help convey the key style and color trends that will dominate the fashion and accessories worlds in months to come. But they also provide a tantalizing glimpse of the themes expected to resonate with consumers a year from now. Though let’s be honest: Many of these themes already feel relevant.

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A close-up of Swarovski’s earth-inspired crystal flag

Here are the jewelry highlights:

1. Air: Weightlessness and Transparency

• Silver metal and lightweight elements

• The concept of suspension—crystals suspended in seemingly “gravity-defying structures”

• Negative space

• A mix of large and small elements to create balance

• Halo and circular shapes as a way to evoke a protective halo

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Swarovski’s airy vision of spring/summer 2017 (photo courtesy of Swarovski)

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New air-inspired spring/summer 2017 crystals from Swarovski (photo courtesy of Swarovski)
 

2. Earth: Natural, Bohemian Luxe

• Color palette: smoky quartz, jet, graphite

• Fossilized surfaces and details, natural textures with an unfinished, handmade aesthetic

• Ethnic, tribal overtones

• Natural materials that take inspiration from plants and organic shapes. “The new luxe is this natural irregularity.”

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Swarovski’s earthy vision of spring/summer 2017 (photo courtesy of Swarovski)

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New earth-inspired spring/summer 2017 crystals from Swarovski (photo courtesy of Swarovski)
 

3. Water: Aquatic Elements

• Vibrant colors: blues, fuschias

• Coral silhouettes

• Pearls, especially in baroque shapes

• Pavé embellishment to mimic delicate, elaborate marine structures

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Swarovski’s watery vision of spring/summer 2017 (photo courtesy of Swarovski)

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New water-inspired spring/summer 2017 crystals from Swarovski (photo courtesy of Swarovski)

4. Fire: Red-Hot Glamour

• Oxidized surfaces showing the beauty of dark, aged materials

• Contrasting elements such as yellow gold and gunmetal

• Bold red gemstones

• Multiple rings on each finger

• Fringes and tassels

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Swarovski’s fiery vision of spring/summer 2017 (photo courtesy of Swarovski)

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New fire-inspired spring/summer 2017 crystals from Swarovski (photo courtesy of Swarovski)