The overriding feel for AW15 would best be described as the push. You could be forgiven for reading about the trends this season and thinking that nothing has really changed - the themes sound roughly similar to past seasons trends ergo nothing has really moved on, but this is really not the case. Sure, you will see the same key-words popping up here and there 'mixed-media' 'supersized' 'tribal', but we are really not talking about the same mixed-media/supersized/tribal that we were a year ago. This season, designers have taken the same themes and characteristics (because as we all know, trends rarely pop out of nowhere. They are in constant motion, evolving and developing over the seasons) and given them a daring push.
Mixed-media pieces have been pushed into being, well, more mixed. The elements that are being married together are more extreme, more inventive. Supersized has been pushed into super-supersized, with staple pieces such as ear hoops, cuffs, chokers etc. hitting jaw-dropping proportions. Tribal has been pushed into a fusion with traditional vintage arrangements/gems/tassels creating pieces that simultaneously resonate with multiple influences. The only common theme is that designs have been pushed into something different, something not seen before. In terms of jewellery design, now is not the time to rest on our laurels.
Have you ever had the experience of waking in the night with a light-bulb moment and frantically sketching a design out whilst semi-conscious? And then waking the next morning to critique your work and finding that what seemed like a great idea at two in the morning was just a tad more avant-garde than you had previously thought?! Perhaps you quietly tucked your sketches onto a dusty shelf...well now is the time to find them and dust them off! The thing that sets these new trends apart from what has been before is their difference and inventiveness; a quality of real, raw creativity. It's time to push.
Characteristics across the Autumn/Winter themes are:
- Super-supersized pieces. As mentioned before, traditional hoops, chokers, cuffs and chains pushed to surreal proportions. Chain necklaces that are super long and others with ultra large links (perhaps 4 or 5 links in all for a necklace), Shoulder dusters that reach down to the collar bone, cuffs and collars that are bigger than before and overly embellished. Owing to the size of these pieces many are created using hollow construction and lightweight materials.
- Multi-media/colour. Lots of differing materials, finishes, textures and hues (bright ones!) juxtaposed in one jewellery piece. Leather, fur and fringes look set to be featured heavily this season.
- Pendants, brooches and pearls are all prevalent this autumn, across the themes.
- Gold detail. Multi-metal pieces have been in vogue for a few years now; this season there are many jewellery pieces that just have a touch or hint of gold as an embellishment. Keum boo, anybody?
- The 'newer forms' of jewellery (mid-finger rings, ear cuffs, hand bracelets, multi-finger rings, body chains, arm cuffs etc.) are still here and becoming bolder and more entrenched as the seasons go on.
- Single charm earrings and mismatched earrings. Designers are producing sets of earrings that are deliberately mismatched, sometimes one large and one small, others with the same elements but in a different order/arrangement. Wearing a large charm-laden earring in one ear and nothing in the other is also a look this AW.
- Double-sided earrings, also called long back earrings, front back earrings and back studs. The practice of employing the earring back as a part of the overall design of an earring began a few years ago at the lower end of the market. Popular as a novelty, the possibilities of this concept have now filtered up and there are currently some amazing designs that are cutting edge, beautifully made and exquisite.
The themes for AW15 are:
- Metalwork. Forged pieces with various finishes (mirror mostly, but also hammered, textured and frosted); large armour like cuffs, collars, bibs and hoops; chains in various colours, finishes and weights, fine and layered to create movement as well as bold supersized links and everything in between; chainmail and knitted wire pieces creating a bridge between jewellery and clothing.
- Tribal Luxe. Materials, shapes, colours and construction from tribal jewellery fused with a dash of something more contemporary, such as bright lush gems, modern fabric tassels or chained links.
- Geometry. Clear bold shapes and sleek materials are still in evidence this season with the sphere popping up time and time again, along with triangles, squares, grids and gentle sweeping curves. The push is now seeing these pieces with additional interest from stones, enamelling and textured patterning.
- Stones. Big, shiny, colourful, big (did I mention big already?), in dense arrangements on ears, necks and wrists. Lots of faceted stones as well as cabs and more uncommon gemstones and slices as pendants and cocktail rings.
- Floral. Flower inspired jewellery that's big, bold, colourful and multi-media, across the jewellery types and in all styles.
The Autumn/Winter 2015 jewellery trends are an invitation to push our designs a little further into uncharted territory. You may not feel as if your clients are ready to be pushed and you may be right, but when everyone else is pushing and you're not, there is always the chance that they will go elsewhere for something fresh and new. I'm not suggesting that we should all be copying each other, rather pushing ourselves to realise the potential of our own creativity. Think of the way that the floating ring has been adopted by some high-end jewellers - it's not impossible to be inventive and accessible. Perhaps just a little push will keep your clients coming back for more.
The headline image is from Nigel Graham and can be found at http://www.nigel-graham-bespoke-jewellery.co.uk/goldsmith/ and also on the GoJD Designer Directory
The Tangle Necklace is from Mila Jewellery and can be found at http://www.milajewellery.com/ and also on Odissa
The Honeycomb Dream Cufflinks are from Alexandra Tosto and can be found at http://www.alexandratostodesign.co.uk/ and also on Odissa
The Aphrodite Brooch is from Nigel Graham and can be found at http://www.nigel-graham-bespoke-jewellery.co.uk/goldsmith/ and also on the GoJD Designer Directory
The Bombyx Mori Pendant is from Alludio and can be found at http://www.alludio.co/ and also on Odissa
All images are copywritten to the artists - please respect the integrity of featured jewellers and their work