Fine jewelry traditionally conjures up the idea of diamond engagement and eternity rings, pearl necklaces and classic gold chains. Many top brand designers are true artists at heart and produce new collections every season that offer a wealth of variety and new ideas.
Renee Langevin, chief buyer for Kirk Freeport Plaza Ltd., has a keen eye for new trends.
Langevin has recently returned from a buying trip to Las Vegas at concurrently running shows “COUTURE” at the Wynn Hotel, Luxury and JCK (Jewellers Circular Keystone), at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, North America’s largest trade show.
In March she was at “BaselWorld,” an international trade show held in Switzerland for 10 days, where she was also buying the new stock that is to arrive in fall. BaselWorld features more than 2,000 exhibitors from some 45 countries, including Cartier, Bulgari, Chopard and Tiffany, and is a glittering event where all the major brands build state-of-the-art spaces to showcase their new collections to the world’s buyers. All the shows cover both fine jewelry and fashion jewelry, giving Langevin a true sense of emerging trends.
“It is really exciting with the big brands to see what their strategy and what their new line addition is,” Langevin said. “Sometimes they focus on a design that was successful or they add new color stories.”
Being on a small island means one can’t just step out the door and go to Bergdorf Goodman or SAKS, or people watch on New York City streets, Langevin explained, adding that she keeps up with trends by reading trade magazines and industry newsletters.
At the international trade shows and private international showroom presentations, Langevin compares notes with people from other islands and touches base with the buyers from the main U.S. department stores.
“The U.S. market drives our market,” said Langevin. “We have a Neiman Marcus and SAKS level of a customer, who are well traveled and understand branding. They understand the beauty, finishing and quality, color and consistency of stones of fine jewelry.
“The smart brands are really trying to keep their DNA, but all introduce new trends every season, and make subtle changes to classic designs, which give it a contemporary spin.”
Popular brands at Kirk include Pomellato, Roberto Coin, David Yurman, Marco Bicego, Pasquale Bruni, Hearts on Fire and new addition Anzie.
Here are the top trends this fall:
“People aren’t necessarily going into stores and buying entire suites of matching jewelry,” said Langevin.
There is a wide range of mixed metals available across all brands, particularly rose, yellow and white gold. The main trend is for personal pieces that meld together and don’t have to match. One can mix metals with bangles, necklaces and earrings by wearing separate pieces in different metals or a piece that mixes different colors of gold.
Wearing multiple pieces layered on top of each other is a big trend this season. You can layer stackable bangles, rings and three or four different length necklaces; for instance, a choker, longer necklace and pendant lariat style.
It is about personalization and all the pieces have significant value, blending naturally with whatever you are wearing in a very feminine and dainty way. The chains are thinner and have decorative elements. Each piece is simple on its own, but when put together, they create a bold look.
Roberto Coin has stackable bangles in all the different color golds and Marco Bicego has an illusion stack ring in rose, yellow and white gold which looks like stackable rings, but is actually joined at the back. Anzie have gorgeous delicate chains that can be layered.
Marco Bicego is known for an etched gold collection, and this season many of the brands have followed suit with textured, brushed and hammered gold which softens the high polish of traditional gold pieces. This is a very feminine, subtle look and the gold appears organic in irregular pebble shapes.
Roberto Coin has an etched gold collection and David Yurman has included sculptural pieces in the collection, such as the Hampton Cable. This collar necklace is an extension and adaptation of the cable collection and is very sculptural inspired by the waves of the ocean.
One version is encrusted with blue sapphires to look like the water. Look for semi-precious stones with raw, textural and graduated details. This season, stone arrangement is often asymmetric.
What may as first sound like a chunky look, this new trend is extremely dainty and feminine and inspired by 1920s art deco looks. Think the Great Gatsby-style. These are vintage pieces with a modern flair and in very classic clean lines. Chandelier earrings have given way to long, lean and simple linear shapes. The rectangular shape of baguettes are everywhere, repositioned in a new way to line slim bracelets and necklaces.
The main color story at Kirk Freeport for fall is the blues of the ocean and pinks of shells.
Langevin avoids buying dark colors from collections as people are coming here on vacation to escape the dark and the cold and like to buy stones that remind them of the light of the sun, the color of the water and shells on the shore.
Langevin has included aquamarines, moonstones for their beautiful iridescent quality, rock crystal, mother of pearl and morganite. Morganite is a very popular stone right now, varying in shade from rose pink through peach and blush changing with the size of the stone.
Morganite, similar to tanzanite – it is in the beryl family – is a very strong stone which is recently is being substituted for diamonds. If those who want the look of a pink diamond, they can choose a large morganite surrounded by diamonds with rose, yellow or white gold.
The mix of yellow gold and turquoise is a huge trend. The stone can be anything from a Tiffany blue through to a pretty mint green. The cuts can be cabochon, faceted or even doublets where two stones are fused – for instance, rock crystal over turquoise. The rock crystal is cleverly cut to fit a piece of turquoise and adds dimension and sparkle.
Pomellato is famous for its colored stone rings, which are bold, but in a feminine, understated way. Its new petit designs can be stacked and the stones chosen to match your chosen outfit. Jewelry is really a way of expressing an extension of your personality and your style and the bright colors can be mixed with the neutral palettes. If you are wearing something neutral, you can accent it with a pop of color, or vice versa, if your outfit is more colorful you can tone it down with a golden or clear stone.
The secret of interpreting trends is to take a concept and apply it to your natural style. Jewelry changes with the trends in a different way to fashion, but vintage is definitely in line with the feeling at the moment in both areas.
“We have some beautiful diamond necklaces that are coming in,” said Langevin. “There is one from Hearts on Fire that looks like it could have been from your grandmother’s jewelry box.”
Hearts on Fire have recently re-introduced its brand for a younger market and put a modern spin on it. This year, Hearts on Fire won the Best in Haute Couture award at the 20th anniversary of the Couture Design Awards.
This necklace is an example of a piece that will last a long time, you will always want to wear and can pass it down the generations.
Other brands have designed chokers which are a nod to the Victorian trend, with ruffles, pleats, filigree and lace on all the catwalks. Sautoir necklaces are an interesting mix of metals and flower shaped precious and semi-precious stones.
Tassels are everywhere, and look great on long chain necklaces. Kirk are stocking new designer Anzie, a family-run company that is creating tassels out of tiny semi-precious stones in bright colors. The tassels are detachable and the chains have starbursts which is another big trend. Anzie is also featuring celestial-style jewelry with sun, moon and stars bringing magic into their designs.
Some designers are taking a sculptural point of view and incorporating images of iconic architectural buildings into their designs. Pasquale Bruni has a ring that if you look closely is actually the shape of the Eiffel Tower. Roberto Coin has designed rings and bracelets using elements from the Golden Gate Bridge.