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Lorraine DePasque

Lorraine DePasque

Lorraine DePasque is a contributing writer for INSTORE and INDESIGN. She is also a freelance journalist who has covered the fine jewelry industry for more than two decades. Having seen thousands of collections, met thousands of artisans, schlepped through hundreds of trade shows, judged hundreds of design competitions, and writtten several thousand jewelry articles, she has one simple request: “Please don’t tell me something is innovative when it isn’t.”

It’s good to see the color turquoise return to fashion’s runways—that means turquoise jewelry will also be resurrected. Not that turquoise jewelry ever really goes away, of course. But remember how huge it was a dozen years ago? There wasn’t a designer who could resist it (and coral, too, as I recall). I’ll admit, this comeback kind of crept up on me—while I was watching the purple palette, like everyone else, I suspect.

Over the past year or so, it’s occurred to me that, with all these futuristic fabrics flooding the runways, jewelry accessorizing may wind up being a less-is-more matter. And that’s exactly what happened Sunday at the 56th annual Grammy Awards. On the music industry’s big night--an event that often means “a night of a thousand fashion faux pas”—those who were best-dressed were wearing heavy metal designs . . . yet, they were light on the jewelry.

Given that Radiant Orchid is the Color of the Year, was anyone surprised by all the red and blue we saw on the red carpet this past weekend at the Screen Actors Guild Awards? I wasn’t. Maybe that’s because Leatrice Eiseman of Pantone told me, just days after the color forecaster’s choice was announced, that we’ll be seeing a lot of all three colors this year. And that we did on Saturday at Hollywood’s 20th annual SAGSs. There was a lot of green, too—despite that 2013, the year of Emerald, has passed.

For the first time in quite a few years, Sunday’s Golden Globes left me feeling hopeful about celebrity selections and fine jewelry’s direction. And it had nothing to do with the amount of jewelry worn to the annual awards event because, actually, it wasn’t uncommon for the stars to wear only one or two pieces. But it had everything to do with what they chose: In silhouette, size, materials, and historical influence, much of the Globes’ jewels kept with 2014 style: modern and simple, yet detailed to be distinctive. And yellow gold? For sure, it won out over all other metal colors.

For the first half of this New Year, If there’s a single word we should all be thinking of, it’s simplicity. And if there’s a single necklace we should all be thinking of—a necklace that perfectly fits such simplicity-- it’s the trapeze. Some of you may know it as “the bar necklace”—but I think trapeze sounds more luxury than bar--no? Either way, I have high expectations for this necklace silhouette, with its horizontal bar suspended on a short chain.

Over the years, whenever I’ve treated myself to a new pair of earrings, only once did I buy hoops. Okay, maybe twice. To me, the swinginess of dangles always seemed more fun to wear and, when they dropped longer than two inches, they surely seemed more alluring than hoops. Yet, for 2014, I’m considering some new hoops. Inevitably, as the year unfolds, other women will come round, too. Why? Pretty much, because many of the hippest new hoops aren’t round, and that’s exactly the shape needed for next year’s fashion.

While I realize that predicting Pantone’s Color of the Year isn’t like choosing winning numbers in the million-dollar lottery—yes, my husband, Charlie, already told me he’d have preferred I’d forecasted the latter—it was still kind of cool when, on Friday, I saw that Leatrice Eiseman, the Pantone Color Institute’s Executive Director, who’d announced Radiant Orchid as the 2014 Color of the Year on Thursday, posted this on her Facebook page:

Hooters Popular? Whoooooo Knew!

Post: 20 November 2013

The trouble with trends is that they’re not always pretty. And, if you ask me, this obsession with owls is one of those. Beautiful, maybe, but classically “pretty”? Not so much. I admit, this trend took me by surprise. Yes, I’ve been watching the burgeoning bird-themed designs—peacocks, parrots, and some other feathered friends—something that, in 2014, we should actually be seeing even more of. But these wide-faced, small-beaked, big-eyed birds? No, despite that the owl's been a pop-culture focus in fashion and home design, I didn’t really see the owl jewelry thing coming on strong.

Some words and phrases are ‘so yesterday’--winter whites is one of them. If you recall, in fashion circles, the term became passé last year—as runway leaders changed the rules, and white is now year round. And finally, this year, jewelry has joined fashion in banning the concept: White semiprecious stones are no longer spring/summer-only. As if to prove the point, there’s a particularly strong focus for fall/holiday on white agate, white opal, white quartz, white topaz, white sapphire, and rock crystal.

Oops—it’s not that easy for me to switch gears from fashion (what I usually cover) to football (which I never cover). So on Tuesday, when I met New York Giants’ Eli Manning for an interview at Macy’s Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, that’s pretty much how my first question popped out. Given that the two-time MVP and Super Bowl champion was there to premiere Citizen’s Eco-Drive Limited Edition Eli Manning World Time A-T watch, I realize—now--that I should have asked “What are you wearing?” instead of who. Fortunately, Mr. Manning, who’s very excited about the timepiece, graciously answered by lifting his wrist to show it to me . . . and started to discuss its features.

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