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Studio: Katia de Pauw
Studio: Katia de Pauw
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2012: jewellery trends go back to the future

As the biggest fair on the jewellery calendar draws closer and Christmas beckons beyond that, Sonia Nair says it’s not too early for jewellers to consider what’s in-store for next year’s trends.
A new report by Swarovski Gems and its global trend and design forecasting service Gem Visions, has projected five design directions for jewellery in 2012. Merging past traditions and the appeal of heritage brands with ingenuity and futuristic design, there’s something for every jewellery customer.


Taking inspiration from the studio pottery movement of the 1950s, this trend is informed by a rise in handmade, simple jewellery with an emphasis on neutral hues such as clay and mushroom as well as zesty fruity tones like sweet acacia, pistachio and mandarin. Subtle colour combinations lend this ‘studio’ jewellery a grounded retro look.

Despite the rise in technical innovation and increased focus on technology, this trend illustrates that the need for human imprint in jewellery remains strong, and jewellery with the aged effect of an heirloom is still in demand. Pearls, brush-effect metalwork and vintage designs will figure highly.

Who will wear it? Lovers of heritage brands and vintage jewellery.

Key stories Soft-brushing, graceful pearls, sweet vintage, lyrical collage, multicolour painting, feeling blue, radiant nature.

Fiction: Farah Barakat
Fiction: Farah Barakat


A suitable juxtaposition to ‘studio’, the ‘fantasy’ trend pertains to jewellery in a spectrum of rich, vibrant colours that correspond with gemstone shades – green, violet, orchid and bright pink. Flora and fauna are said to be the inspiration behind embellished and intricate designs, which will also include motifs of fantastical forms.

Who will wear it? Lovers of the fantasy trend will be daring, cutting-edge consumers who are keen to express their individuality through one-off designs.

Key stories Imaginary world, bloom profusion, sinuously entwined, shielded, intense melange, exuberance.


The rising popularity of the sci-fi genre and provocative celebrity jewellery wearers such as Lady Gaga have given rise to the ‘fiction’ design trend, according to Gem Visions. Jewellery under this trend will merge motifs like skeletal structures, bones, myths, legends and extra-terrestrial beings with bejewelled designs. Look out for earthy colours of orange and red as well as night sky shades of glinting black and grey.

Luminescence: Songkram Ruampon
Luminescence: Songkram Ruampon

Who will wear it? Unpredictable and adventurous jewellery wearers.

Key stories Voodoo mystic, tribal beat, divine radiance, stellar constellations, dynamic cosmic.


Based upon radical minimalism and a revival of the 1990s techno era, this trend will inspire the creation of modernised, industrial jewellery with architectural, abstract and geometric shapes. Strong, clashing contrasts and fluorescent rainbow hues will feature across jewellery that draws upon this trend.

Who will wear it? Young consumers.

Key stories Vivacious mass, prismatic glow, digital age, morphing, rough luxe, monochrome, graduated light.


This trend draws upon timeless cinema and music genres such as ‘Film Noir’ and ‘New Wave’  and is centred around the use of cubic zirconia in black and white designs.

Who will wear it? Smart, classic dressers who aspire to statement diamond jewellery.

Key stories City lights, a la mode, film noir.

Duraflex Group Australia

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