Come January, the fashion magazines focus on resort, that fifth season and harbinger of spring and summer styles to follow. This year the magazines are nothing short of a gift to jewelry retailers, inspiring their readers with photographs of swimwear accessorized with lavish amounts of jewelry along with the usual complement of sandals, sunglasses and tote bags.
The January 2008 issue of Elle magazine displays an iconic image of what I think of as the Palm Beach look in accessorizing swimwear. The look is elegant, not sporty – what Elle calls “polished vintage” – with one-piece bathing suits, stiletto-heel sandals for strutting, elegant hairstyles, and coordinated accessories, including serious jewelry.
[Photo by Gilies Bensimon]
More specifically, the jewelry featured (seen in the photo reproduced here) is substantial in size and includes a pave-style tourmaline and garnet ring, a diamond and rock crystal bracelet, and huge diamond and emerald drop earrings. This is indeed serious jewelry. More diamonds, mixed with onyx or amethysts, and set in earrings and a ring, appear alongside chunky beaded necklaces and multiples of costume jewelry bracelets in the expanded collection of options for accessorizing swimwear recommended by the magazine. Notice that none of the jewelry featured is small or delicate. There are no tiny pendants on fine chains here, no stud earrings. This is jewelry that will be noticed at a distance.
A bathing beauty in heels bedecked with jewels is a vision of affluence combined with an insouciant attitude, best limited to an exclusive community with restricted access to the pool. This is not a look for the beach. One can only hope that the wearer understands that chlorine, salt water, sand and suntan lotion are not meant to mix with this jewelry.
Given the opportunity, educate your customers on the practical considerations and perils of this very chic resort look. A post-resort season reminder to clean and restore the jewelry that has been on vacation might be much appreciated by your resort-bound customers.