Jewelry is truly the sum of its parts. And of those parts, chain and findings play especially important roles: In addition to contributing to the beauty of a piece, they determine how comfortable and functional it is. That’s why, in the following forecast, you’ll find not just the big looks expected to define 2015, but the chain styles and components at the center of them all.
Contributed by Jewelers of America, the forecast is based on the Trendbook Forecast 2015+ developed by Trendvision, an independent jewelry forecasting bureau in Vicenza, Italy. From flowing lines to bold and multi-tone colors, 2015 is shaping up to be a year of big, bold looks—starting with the smallest components.
On the runways, dresses and skirts swish and flow, drawing the audience’s attention to their beautiful fabrics and intricate details. Chains will follow suit, flowing around a woman’s neck. Look for extra-long chains that can be wrapped multiple times or worn long, with longer links that allow the skin to show through.
For necklaces and earrings, findings that allow gemstones and diamonds to “float” or move with the wearer play into the larger trend. Transformable jewelry also fits into this theme of movement, and those transformations will rely on a few key components: hinges that allow a piece to transition from a ring to a bracelet, bails that turn a pin into a pendant, and cages with hinges that allow the wearer to mix and match elements of a necklace on her own. In addition, screw posts will be integral in the creation of double-sided earrings, where each end of the earring is embellished with decorative elements.
From prominent collars seen on the runways of Paris to Wonder Woman–inspired cuffs on the streets of New York City, bold styles will be a top trend in 2015—and comfort and wearability will become top selling features. This is where findings really become important. Jewelry has to be easy to get on and easy to take off, so magnetic clasps will be popular for their ease of use. Big necklaces and those made up of larger gemstones should lay flat on the skin. To achieve that, gemstone segments can be connected with jump rings that will help each stone better mold to the body and keep the piece from feeling too stiff. In addition, cuff bracelets should have hinges, allowing for them to better fit a woman’s wrist.
With metal prices stabilizing and consumer confidence rising, gold and platinum will have their place in the market. But the budget-conscious shopper may look more toward multi-tone jewelry, which allows jewelry wardrobes to be flexible and individuals to mix and match effortlessly. Two-tone chains in silver and yellow gold or in white and yellow gold look fresh when the links are spaced out and don’t follow an exact pattern. Silver is also being amped up with elements of gold: silver chains may contain gold beads and ornate clasps, while silver earrings might feature a gold post and hinge, along with gold details on the front.
From the runways to the red carpet, color will be a huge trend in 2015, which means gemstones will be hot. Unique gemstones with one-of-a-kind appearances will call for settings that best highlight the stones’ defining characteristics. To best showcase these stones, jewelers should look to settings such as basket and bezel settings, which are great for securely holding stones while letting their beauty really show through. Bead caps—whether made of plain metal or featuring accents such as diamond pavé—are another great way to show off and help accent colorful gemstones.