Deck the Halls With Elegant Gems

‘Tis the season to be festive. The holidays are here, and just in time to catch fashion’s wave of color at its peak. (Even computers are showing an array of gumball colors this year.) Rubies and emeralds-perennial favorites, no matter what the time of year-capture the colors and the spirit of the season and should enjoy even more attention than usual from fashion-conscious women. Red is the color of choice for both winter and spring, adding a jolt of brightness to fashion’s luxury and elegance. Green revved up during Fashion Week in New York and may be a fresh favorite into spring. So, besides emeralds and rubies, think tourmaline, tsavorite, garnet, and rubellite.

And as you enjoy some holiday cheer this holiday season, remember: Red and green aren’t just for elves.

Show Your Colors

It’s not just the color that counts, it’s also the way vibrant gemstones and other precious jewels are displayed. And as any savvy retailer knows, a fresh and innovative display can turn a browser into a purchaser. Last year, displays for the holidays were all about the millennium. Now that the third millennium is under way, it’s time to think new and fresh. While looking for inspiration, try keeping an eye on the projects of those who practice the fine art of window display. You may not end up with lines of tourists waiting for a peek, but you might lure a few hesitant customers into your store.

Here’s what some lucky window shoppers will be seeing this season:

  • Barneys-A retro Christmas. As the millennium begins, the retailer will focus on the past, just as fashion designers have responded to the lure of nostalgic glamour. Each window will focus on a different decade. The idea could work for jewelry, too. For example: drop earrings from the early ’90s, the Art Deco feel of the ’20s, the pink gold of the ’40s, the cocktail rings of the ’50s, and the bold gold of the ’80s. A picture, fashion magazine, or signature item from each decade will help identify them.

  • Saks Fifth Avenue-The display theme will be dolls. A special story has been written about a doll sold exclusively at Saks. Displays will use merchandise to tell stories about the doll as it appears in various settings. An idea for jewelers is to use historical or ethnic or collectible dolls, with jewelry reflecting the characteristics of each doll. A dancing figure, for example, would work well with festive party jewelry, while sweetheart dolls are perfect props for a bridal case.

  • Neiman Marcus-What signifies color better than butterflies? Nothing, which is why the retail giant has hit the mark with the lively Lepidoptera. But Neiman’s faux butterflies will be cool-icy, almost-in white. With the strong palette of color in apparel this year, a neutral background fits the bill, and the same goes for colored jewelry. Remember, neutral doesn’t mean minimal. Ornaments, like those Neiman Marcus is using in displays, should be beaded, sequined, or otherwise embellished. Add mirrors for a touch of movement, depth, and illusion.