Observations from some very special jewelry brands and me
Since we already talked about how quickly JCK Las Vegas came and went yesterday, I’ll just get right on with it. Trend. A word not to be confused with fad, which insinuates that something will come and go rather quickly. Trend, rather, is defined as “a general direction in which something is developing or changing.” So, you don’t necessarily need to follow the trends, but more than likely, the trends are going to follow you.
I had a discussion about this with a number of people in Vegas this year—about how I’m trying to make a conscious effort to not get carried away with anything too trendy but, rather, invest in things that are timless (since I’m officially a 30-year-old adult-ish person now, the time has come for quality over quantity, less is more). The problem is, my idea of timeless just so happens to be things that are very popular right now, so whether I’m aware of it, I’m totally following the trends. But that’s the thing about popular styles: Once they take hold, they become widely available, created by brands and designers, answering the demand. And before you know it, you (or, more specifically, your customers) are demanding them and purchasing them, because what they see becomes what they want. And that’s what keeps the industry moving. It’s what keeps brands constantly working to stay one or more steps ahead of it all, to be the first to ignite a popular style, to be the originator. I think I saw plenty of that this time around. Here are the most popular emerging trends to hit JCK Las Vegas 2016 as I saw them and what some very special exhibitors had to say about what they’d noticed, too.
The Word on Bridal
Without a doubt, the most common answer to the question of bridal trends was the two-tone, white and rose gold look. I’m talking mostly white gold, with kisses of rose on the setting, lending a pretty pink aspect that isn’t too strong but still stands out. Oval is the diamond shape du jour, and I saw my share of engagement rings that showed why: It’s simply sensational. As expected, alternative bridal is spreading like wildfire. Whether that means an uncommon setting, a center stone that isn’t a brilliant diamond (rose-cuts count as alternative, is the consensus!), or basically anything you can think of to break “the rules,” traditional isn’t the only player in this game. While designers are striving to make bridal purchases more affordable by offering a roundup of price-point designs (say, between the range of $1,000–$3,000 a setting), they’re also working an all-encompassing angle. I saw a number of instances where bridal companies are expanding their collections to include pendants and earrings as an extension of their bridal lines as an add-on to the sale. These pieces could work as a later purchase for an anniversary or be packaged with an engagement ring or wedding band sale of the same collection. It’s a no-brainer that I’m surprised wasn’t a standout in earlier years. Nevertheless, it’s going to be major now.
“Color for bridal versus diamonds.” —Yael Designs
Fancy color diamond ring collection, prices on request; Yael Designs
“Rose gold, and especially two-tone in white with a touch of rose, is popular in bridal. Floral motifs, too.” —Parade Design
“Oval-shape centers, cluster rings where the halo features larger stones.” —Rahaminov
Moval collection diamond rings, prices vary; Rahaminov
“Alternative bridal at lower price points, many featuring edgy, unusual stones.” —Rona Fisher
Tiny Pebbles ring collection, prices vary; Rona Fisher
“Rose gold in bridal, but mostly in two-tone styles, where rose gold accents the white gold.” —Jack Kelége
“Fancy-shape diamonds and lots of detail has been popular, and rose gold is still going strong.” —Kirk Kara
Lori engagement ring in rose gold with 0.33 ct. t.w. diamonds, priced from $3,050 (center stone not included); Kirk Kara
“Rose-cut stones in bridal as an alternative to the traditional. We’ve been seeing a lot of baguette and princess-cuts in rings, too. Two-tone designs with rose gold is very big.” —Supreme Jewelry
“Price point is a big focus in bridal. White and platinum are still the strongest for us, but the two-tone white and rose look is very popular. In addition, lots of ovals. Oval is the new cushion.” —Sylvie Collection
Color, particularly that powdery shade of pink, seems to be winning the style race as of late. I’d cite Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year choice, but pink was gaining ground well before that was announced—though it could be just the thing that pushed the trend over the edge. I’m also very happy to report that two of the most luminescent gemstones, rainbow moonstone and opal, were everywhere I looked. Shoppers are thirsty for color, and if all those colors happen to be contained in a single gemstone, even better.
Earrings with moonstone and rose de france, price on request; Arya Esha
“Morganite, blush tones and pale pinks in gemstones, and rose gold in fashion jewelry.” —Parade Design
“Natural pink diamonds.” —Heskia Almor Design
Bracelet featuring all natural fancy pink color diamonds, price on request; Heskia Almor Design
“An accent of color really seems to be in, plus, pearls are back!” —Martha Seely
“Rose gold jewelry and blush tones are huge right now.” —Rebecca Hook
Ring in 18k yellow gold and enamel with 2.17 ct. opal and 0.7 ct. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Lord Jewelry
“Lots of playing with color where the focus is on the stones, not the metal.” —SNS Jewelry Studio
I also noted that an ode of sorts to ear climbers was really big: not really a full-size, all-out ear climber, but something shorter, more delicate, and just barely climbing up the lobe, as opposed to the entire ear. It mashes well with the desire for petite styles, while harking back to a trend that’s been big in recent years. It was perhaps my favorite style of the many I saw along the way, and I hope it continues to rise.
“Choker necklaces and cigar bands are what people are being drawn to for us. They also tend to be shying away from pink and prefering the cooler-tone gemstones.” —Ayva Jewelry
The sensational Priyanka Kedia of Ayva Jewelry in ear climbers of her own design
“There’s a big movement for artisan-type things: People want to feel connected to the maker and know where their things are coming from.” —Rona Fisher
In addition to the smaller ear climbers previously mentioned, shoppers are in the market (or they are soon to be in the market, thanks to these styles) for tiny treasures. Petite stacking rings are being worn alone, rather than stacked. Earrings are in stud form, and, if the wearer has more than one piercing, grouped. Pendants are delicately detailed with pavé diamonds and beading for texture and shine. And looks like these, that don’t overpower, are 100 percent timeless. Not trend-averse, just trend-proof.
Parade in Color gemstone stacking rings, price on request; Parade Design
“People have been asking about the tiny lapel pins. Dainty stuff is so popular right now.” —Lord Jewelry
“Beading for texture and adornment, taking the place of gemstones. Also, nature motifs like leaves and vines, in dainty, delicate designs.” —Stuller
The gorgeous Sylvie of Sylvie Collection in her small ear climbers and petite doublet pendant
“Light, free-form styles at a price point. People want pieces that are fashion forward, but still price conscious.” —Sylvie Collection
What styles stood out to you during Vegas Jewelry Week? I’d love to hear!