Haute and Not: 10 Fashion and Jewelry Trends You Need to Know for 2013

JCK studied directional designs for 2013—on the red carpet, on the catwalks, and in new jewelry collections—to draw up a list of 10 trends that retailers need to know

Trend forecasting can be a tricky business. Still, those with a knack for seeing the future a few months or years ahead are sought after for their ability to steer businesses onto profitable merchandising paths.

At the risk of tooting our own horn, you’re in luck. JCK has a proven track record in supplying spot-on jewelry market intelligence, so we polished up our crystal ball to once again divine the must-know jewelry and fashion trends that will guide style decisions in the year to come:

Green Machine

Unless you’ve been in hibernation, you’ve heard the big news: Emerald is the color of the year, replacing last year’s citrusy Tangerine Tango, according to New York City–based color institute Pantone. For shoppers wearing green clothes, suggest jewels in hues that will color-block or complement—a spectrum that can vary widely depending on the boldness of a person’s taste. On the conservative side, there’s gray, black, white, tan, and softer shades of green, while more brazen looks include blue, pink, and turquoise. “Emerald also pops beautifully against oxidized metal with white diamonds. The green really stands out this way, giving it a modern touch,” says Janet Goldman, CEO of New York City’s Fragments.

Slithering Snakes

Serpent ring in 14k rose gold with 0.42 ct. t.w. cognac diamonds and 0.02 ct. t.w. rubies; $1,735; Kismet at Fragments, NYC; 212-226-8878; fragments.com

The Chinese calendar has rolled over into the year of the snake, so prepare to see even more of the ubiquitous serpent style. Snakes have been trendy in jewelry for years, largely because of their symbolism; they represent fertility, rebirth, transformation, protection, eternal love, and renewal of life. “Serpent jewelry is an enduring style,” says Hank Siegel, president and CEO of Hamilton Jewelers in Lawrenceville, N.J., and Palm Beach, Fla., whose store marked its 100th anniversary last year by reviving 1960s- and 1970s-era snake styles from its archives. And today, the selection has never been so robust. Scores of designers—from price-point–friendly Kismet to high-end Bulgari—are offering their own stylish and slinky interpretations.

Domes of the Rock

18k white and yellow gold ring with 26.16 ct. sugarloaf cabochon Gemfields emerald and 0.84 ct. t.w. diamonds; $180,000; Alexandra Mor, NYC; 888-944-2237; alexandramor.com

Now that the slice is being put out to pasture, dome-shape stones and mineral slabs—collectively referred to as ­cabochons, defined as any gem that has been shaped and polished but not faceted—are a refreshing sight. Not only are cabs perfect accents to spring fashion’s casual sensibility (the days of denim are upon us), but they also allow highly included yet vibrantly hued stones a chance to shine, as it were. Cases in point: More than a half-dozen cabochon jewels earned recognition in the 2013 American Gem Trade Association Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards, including an opal ring with spessartite garnet from Gregoré Morin, a peridot cabochon ring with diamonds from Frank Caballero, and a rose quartz cabochon ring with diamonds from Elizabeth Garvin Fine Jewelry.

Real Estate

John Parrish
18k white gold and black ruthenium ring with opal, 1.01 cts. t.w. spessartite garnets, and diamonds; $7,800; Gregoré Joailliers, Santa Barbara, Calif.; 805-453-6073; gregorejoailliers.com

Period films and TV shows (hello, Downton Abbey!) are building new generations of antique enthusiasts and reminding previous fans of their present-day relevance. Whether they’re groovy estate gems or new antique-inspired pieces, vintage jewels are a staple of contemporary style. Look to Ivanka Trump and Leila Michaela Fine ­Jewelry for modern interpretations, as well as House of Lavande for vintage-inspired couture costume jewelry. Vishal Dixit, owner of New York City’s Heritage Collection—which sells largely newly made estate-style fine jewelry plus period pieces—sees vintage bracelets and brooches trending. “Deco is doing very well, and so are big, bold pieces—like 2-inch-wide bracelets worn three at a time,” he says. And thanks to the recession, he adds, “more high-end pieces have come out on the market.”

Black-and-White Ball

Sapphire Shimmer pendant in satin finish 18k gold with diamonds and sapphire center on 16-inch 18k gold chain; $930; Adel Chefridi, Woodstock, N.Y.; 866-428-8777; chefridi.com

Don’t expect the popularity of these contrasting colors to wane anytime soon. A backdrop at once neutral and bold, black-and-white pairings are de rigueur in jewelry. Note the mainstream appeal of oxidized metals, which are considered edgy, cool, and timeless. “You never have to wonder what’s going to look good with black and white,” says Lisa Glynn, manager at Diane Glynn Distinctive ­Jewelry in ­Jenkintown, Pa. “Everything does.”

A Delicate Balance

Dainty pendant necklaces and petite drop earrings won’t compete for attention with spring’s lighter looks, and soft hues—think matte-finished stones like frosted chalcedony—can offset big cuts of stones and bold settings such as oversize cuff bracelets. Additionally, minimalist motifs like bars, which are ideal for layering (and gifting!) since they can be added to over time, appeal to collectors who wear fewer pieces during the warmer months. Says ­Siegel: “We just launched a collection of little stackable bracelets on cord or chain that retail for about $1,200 each.”

Wide Shirt Cuff in sterling silver with white mother-of-pearl; $1,000; Kara Ross, NYC; 212-223-7272; kararossny.com Earrings in 18k gold with white quartz, black diamonds, and white geode; $8,800; Colette at Fragments, NYC; 212-226-8878; fragments.com

The Chinoiserie Syndrome

Wood ring with 19.5 ct. carved jade, 0.70 ct. t.w. brown diamonds, and 2.93 cts. t.w. colored sapphires; $9,855; Wendy Yue at Fragments, NYC; 212-226-8878; fragments.com

A plethora of bamboo, tassel, jade, and other styles makes clear that tastemakers are besotted with the delicate designs of the Far East. To help your customers subtly introduce touches of Eastern exotica into their wardrobes, suggest they first start with the accessories. Jewelry with Asian motifs is an ideal way to punctuate minimalist attire. And for women who opt for ornate Asian-inspired garments, steer them toward “bold, modern, ­metal-heavy jewels,” says New York City stylist and JCK contributor Brooke Magnaghi. Chinoiserie is a recurring theme throughout the ­history of decorative arts—from jewelry to home furnishings. To give the time-honored look a modern spin, think about pairing jade or tsavorite with black diamonds.

Power Up

Knot ring in 18k rose gold; $2,980 (by special order); Roberto Coin, NYC; 800-853-5958; robertocoin.com

To accessorize the trending (again) women’s power suit—which can be interpreted in head-to-toe prints or in bold colors with sharp ­tailoring—suggest clean, simple metal jewels such as classic link bracelets (especially in yellow gold). Watches and brooches are obvious touches as well; after all, one keeps the business world running on time while the other is the perfect way to jazz up a straitlaced lapel.

Sheer Delight

To play on fashion’s springtime love affair with sheer fabrics, soft layers, and cutouts, look to jewelry with clear stones like rock crystal that allow a peek of the skin underneath. Another way to accessorize the gauzy look: a sleek, metal-intense statement piece like a cuff or a collar necklace, which will amp up the contrast. Some jewelers, however, swear that earrings are the only way to complement a sheer blouse. “A pair of statement earrings won’t detract from what you have on,” says Glynn.

Everything’s Coming Up Rosy

14k gold polished and twisted cable link Heritage Gold Collection chain; $560; Royal Chain Group, NYC; 212-382-3340; royalchain.com

It showed up in fashion jewelry years after being popularized by watch companies, and last year turned up in bridal jewelry in a big way. Rose or pink gold is warm, complements most skin tones, and mixes beautifully with blackened gold, silver, and yellow gold. Hamilton Jewelers—which stocks brands such as Bulgari and Roberto Coin that have long embraced the rosy metal—is even seeing rose make inroads in men’s jewelry. “In pictures it looks so pink, but in real life it’s really soft,” says Guerrin Gardner, social media manager for Seal Beach, Calif.–based Lux Brand Group. The 20-something recently got engaged with an evelynH. rose-gold ring.