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.”
This isn’t really a left-field surprise, is it? Considering the growing popularity of cool pearl jewelry over the past year, my prediction for black pearls, specifically, seems hardly startling. But to tell you the truth, after attending a “Fall 2015 Trend Fashion Forecast” last week, I have been wondering why I hadn’t figured it out sooner. On Thursday, I was at a presentation by Roseanne Morrison, fashion director of the Tobe Report—Tobe’s been around since 1927, providing retailers and brands with in-depth research focused on consumer issues it sees as affecting short- and long-term buying.
What started as a jewelry trend, has become fashion’s leading duo-color direction for fall: the red-and-black mix. When I wrote, awhile back, about red gems set in black metal as, by far, one of the freshest jewelry looks, who knew red-and-black would, in fact, become fashion’s prevailing pairing, too? This past week, according to Ellen Campuzano, managing editor of online blog and newsletter, Fashion Facts Folio, “Red-and-black is taking a leap to replace black-and-white this coming fall. Whether it is a sportive top or bottom, a graphic tunic or a long, dress skirt, red tops off basic black in fresh new ways.” The fashion forecaster calls it: “Le Rouge et Le Noir.” (Wish I’d come up with that).
As anticipation grows for the February film release of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I’ve been thinking especially about all this bondage-y hand jewelry. Oh, c’mon, no one else has thought of midi-rings, palm cuffs, and knuckle rings in that way? Admittedly, the pieces are always dramatic and often exquisite, but sometimes they limit movement, no?
Whenever you hear of engagement rings with a non-diamond colored gem center, you (or I) typically think first of blue sapphire. It’s been that way at least since Charles gave Diana the now-iconic Garrard Jewelers ring, which William later gifted to Kate. Nonetheless, that was more than three decades ago—and I’m starting to think that ruby, the corundum’s red sister, is poised to topple blue sapphire’s reign.
You’ve noticed, right? As arm parties continue in vogue, the most popular bangles are stick-thin. And look, before everyone goes all PC and reminds me that “size 2 is the new size 0” and all of that, the Size Zeroes I’m talking about are super-slim stack bracelets. Diameter, of course, doesn’t factor in—instead, it’s about the waif-thin width of the bracelet.