The jewellery trends for A/W 2011 are all about the individual; pieces that express who and what we are. ‘Statement’ jewellery has evolved to become more personalised, more unique and a greater focal point to an overall look.
Many of us have less disposable income now than we did three years ago and financial futures still look uncertain. Precious metal prices have rocketed as a result of commodity trading, changes in investment targeting and industrial use. Customers with less money coupled with more expensive raw materials, has led to an explosion in the diversity of materials used for creating jewellery pieces. There is now an amazing array of colour, texture and theme available in the jewellery marketplace – it is almost as if ‘niche’ is the new ‘mainstream’: where literally anything goes.
Another trend emerging from living in an age of uncertainty is the movement towards nostalgic design. We have become attracted to the safety of the past; retro looks from the 20th century and beyond are becoming more popular (for example, Victorian, Art Deco, 50’s oversized jewels, 70’s pop art pieces and so on) including references not traditionally associated with apparel, such as artistic movements like Cubism, Arts & Crafts and post war architecture.
One other important influence that is emerging for consumers is the growing consideration towards sustainability and social responsibility. Being able to highlight the aspects of your business that work in harmony with the natural world and communities, whether it be using recycled/upcycled raw materials or getting involved with local projects, enhances the perception of your business.
Characteristics across the Autumn/Winter themes are:
- Statement Everything! Jewellery is even bigger and more adventurous than before. Rings, chokers and cuffs are bolder, more colourful and more varied, with greater attention to colour blocking and mixed media.
- Gemstones are huge and not necessarily traditional faceted stones. Rough cuts and agate slices are a popular look.
- Layering and stacking of bracelets, rings and necklaces will still be a key trend – almost like building your own statement piece! It offers greater versatility and creativity to jewellery lovers and can be emphasised as a feature of your pieces.
- Shoulder dusters – earrings so long that they literally ‘dust’ your shoulders.
- Metallic – large, heavy metal pieces, ergonomic designs and layered, woven chains; with shiny, textured, coloured and oxidised finishes. If the price of the silver makes you balk at the idea of making a piece like this, think base metals. Copper, brass, bronze and aluminium (to name a few) are all becoming more popular.
- Personalised and kinetic jewellery is still sought after as something unique and symbolic to the wearer.
And the themes for AW11 are:
ARTISTIC SCULPTURE – lots of retrospective influences from 20th century fashion and art. The Mod movement, minimalism, Le Corbusier, for example, encouraging pieces with bold clear shapes and sculpted lines, as well as heavy pierced pieces with cut outs.
TRIBAL/ETHNIC – natural look materials with authentic finishes. Faux fur and snakeskin are set to be huge, alongside leather, feathers, tusks and teeth. Big bold fringes in suedes and fabrics, especially for neckwear.
ICONIC – belief symbols, from religious to new age, are set to be featured heavily; crosses, skulls, hearts and hands, as well as representations of natural objects such as animals, leaves, berries, tusks and teeth and everyday objects like furniture, crockery and food.
BAROQUE – romantic pieces that incorporate the scrolls, swirls and floral shapes of yesteryear, for pure nostalgic indulgence. Tactile mixed media jewellery using velvets, laces and satins alongside the more traditional stones and metals. Vintage and estate gems are still popular and pearls are set to be huge this Autumn and Winter.
NATURE FANTASTIC - representations of flora and fauna with a super natural edge: outlandish colours, exaggerated forms and larger-than-life decorations.
a brief word about gold.........
Boy, it’s expensive. Many designers are now using it as an embellishment, to provide interest and added value, instead of using gold as the whole fabric of a piece
...........and about silver
That’s expensive too. The gap between the relative prices of silver and gold is predicted to become narrower within the next few years. With luxury brands beginning to produce silver ranges and silver being described as ‘the new gold’, there is a distinct possibility that silver’s reputation for being a cheap and popular precious metal is over.
see aw11 jewellery trends on guilded gems