The Spring/Summer 2005 Fashion Week in New York not only provided a snapshot of trends for the coming season but also previewed a future in which fine jewelry and fashion are considerably more co-dependent.
Though no new trends for spring emerged as powerfully as the brooch did last season, the continuation of ladylike designs keeps the focus on embellishment via brooches, layers of gold or pearls, and draping necklaces and earrings.
More good news for the jewelry industry was the subtle shift in jewelry’s relationship to the intensely scrutinized New York Fashion Week. This season, the industry saw fewer “placements”—i.e., jewelers, industry groups, or their public relations pros work to get fashion designers to show jewelry with their collections, sometimes in exchange for financial sponsorship of a show. Instead, the idea that jewelry is an organic extension of both the runway collections and the hoopla that surrounds them gained a stronger foothold.
The trend seemed to arrive with the showing last winter of collections for the current fall/winter season. Those runways, set aglitter with bejeweled brooches, right-hand rings, and other fine-jewelry must-haves, set the tone for a more jewelry-friendly fashion world.
Jeweler Chris Aire, meanwhile, raised the bar for jewelry designers and manufacturers looking to increase the profile of fine jewelry. Aire’s own jewelry-focused fashion show drew both a smattering of A-list celebrities and the media that follow them wherever they go. Sponsored by the savvy industry insiders at Platinum Guild International and the Diamond Promotion Service, the show proved the viability of fine jewelry as an important element of fashion and, therefore, Fashion Week.
On the fashion catwalks, the idea of luxe looks for day or night encouraged consumers to indulge—especially in diamonds. Taking an approach contrary to the minimalism of the past—and enforcing the idea of jewelry for everyday—designers even paired diamond jewelry with bathing suits.
Finally, Fashion Week served as the backdrop for a real-life Breakfast at Tiffany’s experience for fashion editors and buyers as the venerable Fifth Avenue jeweler opened its doors to designer Behnaz Sarafpour for a runway show staged on Tiffany’s main floor.