As fashion director for the Accessories Council and founder of JMR Trend + Creative, Jessica Richards (pictured) makes it her business to know which way the trend winds are blowing. Which is why JCK tapped the New York City–based trendspotter to talk about 2022 spring fashion.
It just so happened that we caught up with Richards a day after she presented her 2023 forecast to the council. So we asked her to give us the scoop on what’s coming down the jewelry pike this season, and the next few seasons to come. The interview has been lightly edited.
What did you predict in your 2022 forecast? And how accurate were you?
I always name each season. I had given spring ’22 the name “I just can’t get enough.” This was going to be the season, if we saw a little more mobility in the world, that people would want to express this sense of optimism and joy and a return to normalcy by getting a little more decorated in their dressing.
I anticipated a lot of sparkle and lots of very stylized accessory moments in both ready-to-wear and jewelry—and a lot of color: this sense of dressing with presence. In shoes, for example, it’s about platforms—because you want to be seen.
How does that idea translate to jewelry?
In jewelry, the ring’s the thing. Hands have been hidden for so long, so we’re wearing a lot of rings, stacking bracelets, and showing those categories off.
What are the other big ideas dominating the season?
The other big trend is this idea of nostalgia. In jewelry, you’re almost seeing these childlike or DIY trends like friendship bracelets, but with more elevation. Even if the pieces are a bit more whimsical, they still have fine materials involved—like smiley faces painted on pearls. Or Lauren Rubinski, who puts letters on a chain.
It’s almost like a marriage of nostalgia and whimsy. Whimsy is a major thing we’re seeing in the market. Even looking at pictures of the Gem Awards, some of the curation happening on people’s necks and hands—someone had a nameplate necklace that said “Major.” There’s a desire to be optimistic and joyful and happy. It’s a sense of relief you’re expressing through your jewelry curation.
Are any colors or gemstones especially standing out this season?
The thing resonating most with me is the combination of colors in the same item. I’m thinking rainbow as a big color idea this season, both actual rainbows and mixes of stones in rainbow coloring in the same item. That’s the top of the pyramid trend that sticks out to me. Green feels particularly important as well.
What do you think of the current popularity of astrological symbols?
It goes back to this idea of personal curation or wanting to make a personal statement with your jewelry. Symbols that are representative of you. You’re seeing nameplates, astrological signs, lucky numbers. It’s about being connected to things that give you a sense of security and comfort and grounding. We’re seeing a lot of talismans. Safety and security amulets, like the evil eye, are always out there, but I’m seeing them to the maximum capacity.
As you look to 2023, what are you noting?
In my mind, the things that are shaping 2023 are happening now. There’s always going to be some effect in the current year. I talked about Rihanna’s pregnancy announcement. I was already doing some storytelling around vintage and archive items and then when I saw that picture of her wearing the crucifix, OMG. Everybody’s going to be looking for vintage, Lacroix-inspired crosses. She gave that a new face. I don’t think we’ve seen crosses for so long. We’ve been having a Y2K fashion moment, but we haven’t gotten back to glamour. I feel like this very directional kind of jewelry is having a moment.
The other thing I really wanted to speak to is this idea of novelty. I’m using Schiaparelli as inspiration. Eyes, lips, and a lot of oversized symbols. That And Just Like That… episode where Nicole Ari Parker is onstage and wearing a big cancer crab, Schiaparelli. That feels so fresh and new.
Editor’s Note: After this story was published, JCK learned that jeweler Lorraine West designed the Major nameplate necklace that Richards spotted at the Gem Awards (and was one of three people who wore it that night). The necklace was designed in collaboration with author Shayla Lawson to accompany the 2020 release of her book This is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope.
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