Key spring ready-to-wear shows in four cities—in New York City, London, Milan, and Paris—took place in September, resulting in a fresh crop of clothing trends. Jewelers need to take note in order to stock cases with the right pieces to complement the necklines and silhouettes of the season. Here are 10 spring 2014 clothing trends drawn from September’s most important ready-to-wear runway presentations in the aforementioned cities and why they’re important to jewelers.
1. The Color Blue
Blues—as in Pantone’s Dazzling Blue and Placid Blue—made an indelible mark in spring collections. It was evident in Catherine Malandrino’s nautical-inspired looks, sweaters at Pringle of Scotland, and Mark Fast’s body-hugging, party girl-inspired and bruise-colored, black and blue ensembles. Be prepared to color-block blue numbers appropriately.
2. Crop Tops
When have we ever seen so much midriff? A little last year, but this year, wow! Tops are shrinking so much that they give the term navel-gazing a more literal spin. Look to the Nicole Miller, Vivienne Tam, and Tod’s collections for examples. While this trend likely won’t appeal to more mature buyers, young ’uns with toned tummies might spring for belly rings and even ear cuffs or headpieces to balance coverage elsewhere in the absence of fabric.
3. Relaxed Silhouettes
Spring is all about casual clothes (again). Expect to see relaxed trousers, shift and slip dresses, shirt dresses, sweatshirts, and street wear-inspired denim. Nods to these aesthetics can be seen from 10 Crosby Derek Lam, Helmut Lang, Gucci, and DKNY—in addition to some well-placed pendants, which is one way to accessorize these styles. Another: cabochon cuts of stones.
4. Minimalism and Geometry
Minimalist clothing choices include boxy garments with angular cuts. Preen by Thornton Legazzi showed sharp-cornered shirts with asymmetrical front closures, while Calvin Klein displayed boxy frocks with what designer Francisco Costa called elements of “elevated deconstruction” (just a sliver of color showing on an angular fabric fold). Looks like these require similarly geometric-inspired motifs, like pyramids or bars (also called matchsticks), or sleek forms. Look to the choker necklaces on models of the Saint Laurent collection for direction.
5. The Color White
Whites were everywhere on the runways. Michael Kors cut skirts and blazers in white, Victoria Beckham turned out cute little flared skirts, and Alberta Ferretti went bohemian with tiered skirts (some with bright embroidery accents). All these color-free canvases are ideal backdrops for pops of jewelry color.
6. Rocker Chic
There was a lot of edge to collections. Grommets, ripped denim, and even leather (for spring, no less!) showed up in many a show. Diesel Black Gold crafted skin-bearing sundresses covered in metal effects, Herve Leger by Max Azria offered jackets and corsets, and Rachel Zoe had ripped-jeans-wearing models strutting down her runway. Accessorize these “I don’t care what you think” looks with spike and stud themes and chunky chains, among others.
There are lots of lapels going on in spring lines! Think boyfriend blazers, tuxedo jackets, and double-breasted numbers. Salvatore Ferragamo had relaxed, striped blazers, Ports 1961 had fitted, single-button styles, and Jenni Kayne had long tuxedo-inspired silhouettes. Accent these with stick pins or a sprinkling of small brooches.
8. Graphic Prints and Logos
Think nautical, flowers, abstract, words, and even gemstones (3.1 Philip Lim offered agate prints). Alexander Wang (many loved his sweatshirt emblazoned “Parental Advisory Explicit Conent”) and Christian Dior are some other creative souls who tapped into busy looks and logos. To accessorize, go for impact pieces with clean lines that won’t compete for attention, or, a pop of color taken from a print.
We saw sheers last spring, and they’re back (albeit in a smaller display). Monique Lhuillier, Burberry Prorsum, and others offered pieces with floral effects on see-through fabric. Accessorize sheers with clear stones like rock crystal that allow a peek of skin, a metal-intense statement piece that will serve as contrast and not catch clothes, or earrings that sits far away from complicated fabrics.
10. Sleeveless Garments and Open Collars
Duh—it gets warmer in spring, so many styles on the runways lacked sleeves or showed more skin around the collar. Bare arms were abundant—including at the Chanel and M. Patmos shows, so stock up on stackable, bangle, and cuff bracelets. And, wide-open necklines by Bibhu Mohapatra and at Elizabeth and James are ideal perches for the well-placed collar necklace.
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