2018 Top Gem and Jewelry Trends
5 Minute Read
In addition to miles of aisles of beautiful finished jewelry on display, the JCK Las Vegas show offered attendees the opportunity to discover the latest in jewelry trend research. At the show in June, trend forecasting service TrendVision as well as mega brands Swarovski and LeVian unveiled the results of their research into upcoming 2018 Top Gem and Jewelry Trends. Among some of the shared themes highlighted were high tech, simplicity in design, cross-functional, talismanic, gemmy, and colorful.
Let's see where things are expected to be heading in the coming year…
TrendVision Jewellery and Forecasting
Fiera di Vicenza's independent trends think tank for luxury goods cites in its research jewelry design directions that reflect sleek simplicity, vintage flavor, prismatic patterns, and modest opulence. The report also calls out top tendencies in diamond jewelry, including refined lines and infinite curves, sprinkled sparkle and celestial patterns, new angles, and shining armor style. It identified four mega-trends to follow:
The Digital Modernist is balancing her life with technology, choosing a healthier lifestyle, smarter workplace, and sustainable environment. Different styles can be characterized in this direction, but they share a use of the latest technologies, an experimental approach, multi-functional, and comfortable. Sculptural shapes and silhouettes, technologically designed with high-tech textiles, laser-cutting techniques, and experimental approaches, are reshaping the visual codes.
The Custodian is a romantic, historian, an archivist, and an eclectic and a playful collector. Preserving is associated with conserving, contributing to the evolution of humanity. Crowd sourcing, co-sharing, and exchanging knowledge or properties are the new wealth. The up-cycle movement in art, architecture, and fashion, which involves recuperating old and antique objects, is driving the archival process. Antique markets, estate jewelry shows, and museums were never as popular as they are now. Think deco-metric, exo-skeletal, and breezy lightness in design.
The News Globalist a strong reaction against homogeneity and poor mass production that has pushed consumers toward handmade, locally produced goods. Multicultural society brings new inspirations and ideas, as well as a deep sense of heritage. The digital and physical traveler sustains artisans and handmade products that can be developed with the support of technology such as 3-D printers, laser cutting, digital printing, etching, and photography. The vibe is modern hippie, combining extravagant styles and patterns—think artisan bazaar, bohemian 1970s, botanical, hieroglyphics, ancient signs, and spiritual totems.
The Retro Futurist is an entrepreneur, scientist, artist, and explorer—captivated by both the technology and science innovations of the present and the resilience and resourcefulness of the past. As we lose natural instincts while we incorporate wireless technology skills, finding balance is the goal. Tech detox becomes a necessity, as individuals need a break from creating and focusing on new theories, creations, and projects. Think: good design makes a product useful—easy to layer and stack, mix and match; multi-functional and adaptable; modern and minimal; textured and architectural.
In its GemVisions trends forecasting research for 2018, Swarovski identified three major design directions: Naturalia, Mirabilia, and Artifi cialia—each incorporating two key sub-trends that together encompass an overarching theme dubbed Wunderkammer.
Derived from a collective sense of wonder, Wunderkammer embodies a fascination with the extraordinary—the phenomena of the universe, marvels of the earth, and the miracles of technology. For jewelry, this has meant a renewed preoccupation with the origin of gemstones. It also reflects today's obsession with connoisseurship and quest for rarities. Wunderkammer is a sanctuary from digital glut and sensory overload; it is a trusted place to build a new appreciation for genuine relationships and connections and the jewels that celebrate them.
Naturalia reflects the transformational, translucency of watery realms in H2Obsession and the grandeur of sweeping landscapes in Daughter Earth. Gems in colors from light and dark blues and grays to rich brown, poppy, golden yellow, and greens express these sub-trends. Swarovski also introduced new cuts translating these themes, such as Puress that resembles a water droplet by merging a cabochon dome with a faceted body, and Leaf, which mixes square and round stones suggestive of leaves and petals.
Mirabilia reflects the new mood of connectivity, community, and storytelling, re-assessing the ideals of beauty and perfection in the sub-trend Perfect Flaw, and weaving stories to present a shared collective identity with relics and talismans in Spolia. Gems in colors from caramel, deep red, and intense black to misty rose and violet are prevalent in these composite trends.
Artificialia generates a desire to be amazed by masterpieces created by age-old and cutting-edge skills of craftsmanship. This mega trend is celebrated in two sub-themes dubbed Shredding Layers (shifting away from compulsive materialism toward real interpersonal relationships and emotional connections) and Hyper-Natural (focus on otherworldly beauty in the structures and symmetry of natural design). Gems in colors from purplish pink and grayish blue to pale yellow, orange, blue, green, lilac, and white are important. Key shapes include oval, square, and teardrop, as well as the octahedron cut.
LeVian hosted its annual Red Carpet Revue during JCK Las Vegas, where it announced the results of the trends research it conducted with Harpers Bazaar. For 2018, it hails blue sapphire as gem of the year, and denim hued stones, including sapphire, tanzanite, topaz, and aquamarine, as a key trend for fall-winter.
Citing the ongoing success of peach morganite and Ethiopian opal, LeVian has declared nude the top tone for next spring. While Greenery, Pantone's Color of the Year, continues to inspire more designs set with green stones such as emerald, tourmaline, and chrome diopside, the brands cites pink sapphire and ruby as part of the trend for precious, and red, white, and blue the color story of the year. LeVian will also be promoting more color for brides, who are breaking with tradition and opting for rings featuring pink and yellow diamonds as well as a range of precious colored stones.
Among the leading design directions identified in its forecast are out-of-this-world orbit rings, stars, and swirling galaxies; bezel-set gems not only as accents but also as the center of attention; "boyfriend rings" featuring wide bands and signet styles; and cushion cuts, baguettes, and diamond cut pavé.
The fascination with stacking and layering shows no sign of waning, reports LeVian. The trend remains to stack multi-color gem and diamond rings and bracelets, as well as to layer different lengths, textures, and styles of necklaces, and climbers that offer a layered look up the ear. **
The award-winning Journal is published monthly by MJSA, the trade association for professional jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers. It offers design ideas, fabrication and production techniques, bench tips, business and marketing insights, and trend and technology updates—the information crucial for business success. “More than other publications, MJSA Journal is oriented toward people like me: those trying to earn a living by designing and making jewelry,” says Jim Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts.
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