The fashion jewelry scene is hotter—and more stylish—than ever. We asked buyers from the country’s chicest retailers, from Barneys to Bloomie’s, to break down the top trends.
Jewelry is always the quickest way to change up a look, but this season jewelry is the look, with dramatic shapes, vivid pops of color, and distinctive styling taking center stage (read: The single-earring phenom wasn’t a one-hit wonder).
But the biggest overall trend? Consumers are insisting they get their money’s worth, giving rise to a new category called “fine fashion,” says Lincoln Moore, Saks Fifth Avenue senior vice president and general merchandise manager of accessories. “Customers can purchase pieces with quality material at accessible price points, such as 14 karat gold necklaces with diamond accents for less than $1,500, which was unheard of years ago.”
Sarah Blair, senior vice president of women’s accessories and shoes at Barneys New York, and Erica Russo, operating vice president and fashion director for accessories and beauty at Bloomingdale’s, have seen this shift firsthand. Blair says in the $1,500-and-under range, buyers are showing more interest in precious stones and metals.
“The Bloomingdale’s girl appreciates emerging designer talent as long as there is a perceived value,” affirms Russo. “Designs with elements of semiprecious stones, real gold plating, and hand-set stones resonate with our customer.”
In other words, there’s no better time to get the most bang for your accessory buck. Here are the top fashion jewelry trends that will continue through fall, according to buyers at major retail stores across the country.
Shoppers are still looking for high-impact jewelry, and if the fall 2017 runways are any indication, they will have plenty of choices. From the oversize Art Deco–inspired necklaces at Prada to the sculptural earrings at Proenza Schouler to the hip-hop styles at Marc Jacobs, the statement trend is not for wallflowers. “It’s all about bigger pieces—larger-scale earrings and dramatic stones,” says Melissa Geiser, jewelry buyer at Dallas luxury department store Stanley Korshak.
The look is one that resonates at the large chain stores as well. “For fall, we are already loving the street influences of bold gold chains, layered pendants, and statement earrings,” says Russo. Moore singles out brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Aurélie Bidermann, and Lele Sadoughi for their “bold, oversize, striking pieces.”
Floral sculpture earring in gold-plated brass; $675 (sold singly); Paige Novick for Tibi; firstname.lastname@example.org; tibi.com
Clutch the Pearls
The luminescent orbs are as popular as ever, but these aren’t your grandmother’s pearls. “They continue to be a strong and important trend, especially mixed with gold for a fresh update,” says Russo, who notes that Kate Spade’s and Rebecca Minkoff’s takes on pearls are particularly popular. “We also love pieces from Mateo, one of our newest brands, that include diamonds.”
Paul Schneider, owner of Portland, Ore.–based Twist, says that pearls are not only paired with diamonds, they are often replacing them. “I’m seeing a lot of pearls worn where people traditionally wear diamonds—rings, necklaces, and combined with other stones.” He singles out Mizuki as one designer who offers “fashionable, wearable, affordable” pearl pieces.
Inspiration piece using spring-summer 2018 Swarovski crystals; Swarovski North America; 213-489-2393; swarovski.com
Everything Old Is New Again
For those whose sensibilities are more old-school than over-the-top, designers will be offering pieces that are traditional with a twist.
“Antique and vintage pieces, baguette-cut stones, and using classic cuts in unique ways [are especially strong],” Blair says. “This creates pieces that are substantial without being flashy.”
Earrings in 14k gold–plated brass with carnelian, clear quartz, and champagne baguettes; $352; Bounkit; 212-244-1877; bounkit.com
They may be interested in trends, but customers still want to give their jewelry a personal touch. “Clients want pieces they can mix and wear in unique ways,” Blair explains. Top trends include single earrings (Ileana Makri, Shihara), layered bracelets, and chokers, especially in lighter, more delicate styles (Carbon & Hyde, Finn).
Twist’s Schneider seconds the single-earring look. “Most jewelers now are doing big collections of single earrings,” he says. “Multiple holes used to be for really young kids—now everyone’s doing it.”
The choker trend is also expected to last through the fall, with new materials and price points. “The customer is layering, starting with chokers, and then adding dainty pendants to create a personalized look,” Russo says.
Moore is particularly keen on the numerous choker styles he saw on the fall 2017 runways. “Prada, Marni, and Gucci collections offer a variety of lengths and mixed-media pieces to help pull off the trend. We also love pieces by Marli and Diane Kordas,” he adds.
Moneta stone choker with mother-of-pearl, chrysocolla, and mookaite; $795; Vita Fede; email@example.com; vitafede.com
In Living Color
Color is back in a big way, reflecting the movement in fashion. “Global influence is a huge trend in ready-to-wear for spring 2017 and has translated to fashion jewelry as well,” Russo says. “We’re seeing colorful, whimsical styles adorned with special touches like pompoms and tassels.”
Gemstones in natural shades, particularly green tones, will grab the limelight (with Pantone’s 2017 color of the year, Greenery, leading the charge). “There will be a whole spectrum of greens, from peridot to emerald,” says Geiser, who also anticipates an upswing in earthy materials such as purpleheart wood, ebony, bamboo, and bronze.
Earrings in gold-plated brass with Swarovski crystals, vintage stones, and textile; €132 ($142); Anton Heunis; firstname.lastname@example.org; antonheunis.com
After several seasons of yellow-gold domination, white metals are getting their moment to shine. “There has definitely been a resurgence in white gold and silver,” Geiser says. She particularly likes Julie Cohn’s statement sterling pieces as well as the sculptural earrings, pendants, and necklaces from Patricia von Musulin.
That said, yellow gold isn’t going anywhere. “We used to have to convince people to try yellow; now they come in looking for it,” Schneider says.
Crystal quartz and mother-of-pearl doublet sterling silver hoop earrings; $395; Stephen Dweck; email@example.com; stephendweck.com
Hey, Look Me Over!
The best places to find new fashion jewelry:
NY Now: Every February and September at New York City’s Javits Center, NY Now features home, lifestyle, and handmade collections that display what’s new and on trend in specialty retail. (nynow.com)
JCK Las Vegas: Each June, more than 23,000 domestic and international retailers gather at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to showcase the most popular jewelry trends. (lasvegas.jckonline.com)
JIS Miami: Held at the Miami Beach Convention Center three times a year, with the biggest event in October, JIS is a must-attend for retailers in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. (jisshow.com)
Bijorhca: The only international trade show for fine and fashion jewelry and watches in France, this event is held in January and September at the Parc des Expositions in Paris. (bijorhca.com)
Maison & Objet Paris: This lifestyle show, held in January and September at the Paris Nord Villepinte convention center, covers design, furniture, textiles, and fragrances in addition to jewelry. (maison-objet.com)
Note: JCK and JIS are owned by Reed Exhibitions, the parent company of JCK magazine.