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Articles from FASHION JEWELLERY (291 Articles), COSTUME JEWELLERY (27 Articles)

Swarovski launches line 'Wings of Poetry'
Swarovski launches line 'Wings of Poetry'
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Fashion jewellery leading trends

With the ability to offer affordable, ever-changing designs, it’s worth paying attention to fashion jewellery.

It’s true of most consumer product lines: changing fashion is what keeps people coming back for more.

This is never truer than in the ever-changing world of fashion jewellery, where the affordability and disposability of items allows designers to experiment with less risk, and customers to try new looks without denting their bank balances.

Resultantly, the accessibility and popularity of fashion jewellery has helped fine jewellers to maintain their turnover amid times of economic frugality.

Fashion jewellery offers “fast food trends” to customers who want to continually update their look as seasons and trends change – a factor that plays a huge role in encouraging return patronage, while also helping young consumers to take their first steps into the world of adornment.

“Gone are the days when we used to buy a piece of jewellery and then wear it for the next 20 or 30 years,” says Gina Kougias, director of Sydney-based silver jewellery label Georgini. “People like the fact that they can change their jewellery on a whim to suit their mood and outfit. It’s a bit of fun and experimentation.”

Ljiljana Kandic, designer of Perth-based wholesale brand Pearls In The City agrees: “No woman would be happy to wear the same jewellery forever. She wants to change – to have jewellery that is a fashion statement and affordable. I’m trying to bridge the gap between Linneys (a high-end Perth jeweller) and costume jewellery with my designs.”

Coupled with slick branding, jewellery wholesalers and suppliers across the nation continue to entice with their on-trend designs. Sydney jewellery wholesaler Vina by Pinaroo is one example of a supplier who is opting for bursts of colour after historically producing classic black and white pieces that combine sterling silver with pearl and cubic zirconia.

“We were looking for new ways to excite the customer,” director Vina Lambert says. “I’ve added colour to break up the look, such as with red, green and pink cubic zirconia, as well as turquoise and black onyx.”

Along with bold, colourful neck pendants, Lambert says the brand is also focusing on adornments for the lobes: “We’re concentrating more on long, drop earrings – Hollywood, red-carpet style.”

Customers are also getting fiery colour courtesy of Opals Australia, which specialises in South Australia’s light opal – identified by its light body tone, though still having a full play of colour.

The Sydney opal manufacturer has a chic silver line, which appeals particularly to younger customers because it is more affordable than gold. Designs include modern, lattice-like rings and bangles, dotted with Australia’s-own coloured stone. Opal settings include solid, where the stone stands alone, though can be cut into a variety of shapes; solid inlays, with the stone bonded into a jewellery setting for added protection; and doublets, enhancing the stone by adding ironstone to the back.

Things are looking bright overseas too, with Cynthia Sliwa, a blogger for US jewellery site JCK Online, declaring that spring in the United States is all about flower power. “The promise of spring seems just the ticket to brighten the day, especially as floral designs are one of this spring’s key trends,” Sliwa says, referencing magazines such as America’s InStyle, which featured a shot of actress Anne Hathaway donning two Nina Ricci floral brooches, as well as a fashion spread on floral motif wristwatches by Bertolucci, Rolex, Fossil, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

As well as necklaces and bracelets, earrings have also gone floral, as seen on actresses Eva Longoria and Rose Byrne in America’s Glamour magazine.

“Notice that they all sit on the earlobes,” Sliwa adds. “None of these are dangles or drops.”

Keeping ahead of the overseas trends, Kandic’s Pearls In The City range focuses on the camellia flower, employing freshwater pearls, black agate and shell across rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces.

“Our jewellery is very pretty and feminine – Chanel-inspired,” Kandic says. “We try to create funky modern and classic designs with a very glamorous Sex and the City inspired look”.

Danish brand Pandora has also gone floral, releasing new matching pieces for its current collection that include a three-flower necklace with a matching ring, as well as orange moonstone earrings. Each piece in the collection features 18-carat gold and diamonds.

Sydney silver jewellery label Najo has also taken its style cues from nature for its autumn/winter collection, with cubic zirconia dotted brooches in such motifs as a bee, butterfly, spider, daisy, dragonfly, rabbit and duck. As well, Najo has released round-shaped, enamel lockets in silver, which incorporate a little pendant – a bird, heart or flower – and can be engraved on the back. The lockets can be worn in two distinct ways – with the hanging keepsake on display for all to see, or safely hidden inside – and are available in nine colourful designs that can be matched with coordinated rings.

Riley Burnett's colourful range
Riley Burnett's colourful range

Continuing the nature theme, Sydney silver label Georgini’s latest collection (due in August) appears to be inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“It’s about the garden, love, the stars and the moon,” Kougias says. “There will be little heart-shaped pendants and some turquoise.”

The brand will also be releasing two smaller collections in between its two major, annual product releases for the first time. Kougias explains: “It will generally be inexpensive pendants and earrings, using sterling silver and cubic zirconia – simplified designs where there is less labour and less material involved. It’s getting tougher out there and people aren’t always spending the big dollars.”

Cult hit TV show Mad Men, set in a New York ad agency in the Kennedy-era 1960s, is also having an impact on the style scene. Former Sydney antique jewellery dealer Sarah-Jane Adams, the brains behind the vintage-inspired SJ Jewels, says the fashion of the era had a distinct look that is being echoed today, particularly for women.

“The wearing of trousers during the war permitted women to wear slacks for the first time,” Adams says, “but they still wanted to look feminine, so they would team them with cardigans and jewellery, such as rows of pearls worn at the nape of the neck, or animal brooches – hair ornaments replaced hats, masks and cascading, waterfall-like earrings were all the rage. Much of the jewellery was based on Georgian and Edwardian styles, but it was reinvented to suit modern tastes. Costume jewellery reflected the style of precious jewellery, but was able to be more extravagant and outrageous.”

The Academy Awards in March also reflected this old-school glamour, recalls Lauren Chang Sommer, managing director of moissanite specialist Moi Moi Fine Jewellery: “With many Hollywood stars opting for splashes of colour and frill details on their frocks, accessories were understated with cocktail rings and sparkling earrings the top jewellery picks.”

Charms also continue to charm with a new range of interchangeables from Sydney wholesaler Pastiche, made from sterling silver, cubic zirconia and coloured enamel. Customers can link the charms onto bracelets or necklaces with playful motifs such as cocktail glasses, ladybirds, watermelon slices and strawberries.

Guess Jewellery, distributed by Sydney supplier Designa Accessories, has also unleashed new charms that can be added to a specially-designed chain-link bracelet. These include a sparkling, peep-toe stiletto and a red enamel heart. All charms are silver-plated with crystal accents, and have been scripted with the Guess logo.

As well, Guess has a collection of tattoo-inspired, heart jewellery called Tattoo You, which includes necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings, encrusted with crystals.

Pearls In The City has also released Dream Bracelets, which incorporate silver charms, pearls, semi-precious stones, and leather.

Taking the personalised theme one step further is Canadian silver jewellery line Kameleon, distributed by Adelaide supplier Oro Collections. The interchangeable jewellery pieces allow customers to perpetually customise each item by simply swapping the JewelPops, described by Oro Collections’ NSW regional manager Melinda Benecke as “pop and go” beads.

“There are over 40 base sterling silver designs, including rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets, necklaces and pins,” Benecke says. “They’re flexible, versatile and a reflection of each individual and their personal style.”

Oro Collections also looks after Italian charm brand Tedora in Australia: “New Tedora beads have recently been released which incorporate gorgeous, new glass beads with filigree, sparkle beads, Swarovski crystal, and gilded and 9-carat gold,” Benecke says.”

Another source of inspiration for fashion jewellery lines is the difference of cultures across national boundaries. One example is the latest season’s line from Bavarian silver brand Thomas Sabo, which has hints of Native American culture, according to Celeste Ferraris, brand manager for Sabo’s Australian distributor Duraflex Group.

“The new Rebel at Heart collection reflects rough deserts and endless landscapes with bull skulls, scorpions, motorcycles and cowboy boots, as well as Indian-inspired jewellery elements,” Ferraris says. “The collection is brought to life with sparkling zirconia and brightly-coloured enamels on the highest-quality 925 sterling silver.”

Ellani
Ellani

Sydney fashion jewellery designer Lauren Stephanie has also been inspired by Native American culture with her latest hand-crafted designs, which feature lashings of turquoise and hammered silver. As well, JCK Online’s Sliwa noted the American West as a style influence in her blog, citing a renewed interest in all manner of fringe as adornment (inspired by the iconic, fringed, leather look in Native American clothing).

Sliwa referenced magazine spreads featuring graduated-colour, fringed earrings by Italy’s Iosselliani, a fringed Chanel cuff, and a waterfall-like ring by London’s Solange Azagury-Patridge. “Some of the new designs appear to be a continuation of the various tangled jewellery designs we saw all throughout 2009,” she says.

Locally, Najo’s autumn/winter collection has a silver, chandelier-style, neck pendant, which gives a nod to the fringed look. Japanese label Inori, now available in Australia, has also released fringed, platinum-look bracelets and necklaces. Being made from surgical stainless steel, Inori is said to have the aesthetic look of platinum, though being “1,000 times stronger and corrosive-resistant”, according to the supplier.

The fringed look reflects the hippie style of the 1960s, also currently in back in vogue, and Sydney’s Anna Design Jewellery has paid tribute to the boho vibe with its La Tierra line, harmoniously blending earthy tones and textures with sterling silver and semi-precious stones. It has also released the brightly-coloured Mariposa Collection, purportedly inspired by the aesthetic of a traditional Mexican butterfly-filled garden.

Similarly, NSW hand-crafted jewellery brand Riley Burnett has gone with a boho flavour for its winter Nomad Princess Collection. The line features trinkets, charms, brass, leather, silver and stones gathered from throughout Africa, Bali, Indo-china, Afghanistan, India and Indonesia. For the first time, knitted and crocheted pieces made from soft Italian leather and featuring religious charms have also been included.

Head designer Jennie Riley says the collection is about found objects that hold significance: “Precious things can take almost any form. They could be trinkets found in an obscure market or second-hand store, a gift from a loved one, or something you’ve had since childhood, but whenever you hold the object you feel the weight of its meaning. That’s what the Nomad Princess Collection aims to capture.”

The colourful line includes necklaces, bracelets, bangles and earrings.

Also recognising the current bohemian fashion influence is Julie Martin, who runs online fashion jewellery boutique Marley Rose, which stocks celebrity-favourite labels like Annie Haak, Leila, Good Charma and Ettika.

“Jewellery with meaning or symbols is popular, like Satya, which incorporates spiritual symbols, healing gemstones and sacred meanings in its designs,” Martin says. “We have also seen gold pieces make a big comeback this year. Eco-friendly and ethical jewellery is currently in vogue too, such as the label Alex and Ani, which uses recyclable materials.”

Also adding to the air of eclecticism are stacked pieces and layering, according to Martin: “Customers can buy the same piece as their best friend and wear it totally differently. They can layer their necklaces with short and long pieces and stack their bangles with pieces from their own collection to make it look unique – with layering, the opportunities are endless.”

Whether evoking bohemia or Mad Men-esque minimalism, there really is something to suit all manner of consumer tastes in the fashion jewellery category.

“In the past, there were only choices of high-end, fine jewellery made from 24 or 18-carat gold, or cheap jewellery made from low-quality materials,” Martin says. “We can now offer customers high-end, fashion jewellery, which is made using good quality materials, like sterling silver, vermeil and rhodium plating.”

Rather than encroaching on fine jewellery sales, fashion-conscious brands can add value to a retail business by encouraging customers to visit them more frequently as each new collection swiftly lands, piquing an interest in jewellery in those who can’t yet afford to take it to the next level, and allowing a store to keep in step with the all the latest looks.

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