Beaded Bliss

Fashion this year has taken a romantic turn, with femininity the crucial element. From full skirts and ruffles—think gypsies and hippies—to sheer chiffon and lace blouses, anything sweet and girlish is instantly chic.

Jewelry also shows its hopelessly romantic side this year, with feminine jewelry such as gemstone beads. Twisted and knotted into loose necklaces or dripping in multiples as drop earrings, beads offer outstanding versatility of style and color. Designers are using everything from tiny faceted beads to large and chunky nuggets. The beads—at once delicate and substantial—range from inexpensive semiprecious varieties to sapphire, ruby, and even diamond versions, offering a stylish option to consumers at any price point.