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9 Fine Jewelry Trends That Will Shape 2019
From jewels that reflect sociopolitical issues to emphasis on certain jewelry-making techniques, Fashion Editor Ashley Davis spotlights where design is heading.
From jewelry that reflects the times we live in to emphasis on particular colors or jewelry-making techniques, design is headed in a number of interesting directions.
Here are nine trends to keep an eye on as we enter the final year of the decade.
In 2019, jewelry is about so much more than aesthetics.
Flora and fauna have long been designers’ muses, but a cannabis motif is particularly timely, as recreational marijuana continues to be legalized around the United States and the world.
With word that New York might be the next state in line to decriminalize the substance, expect more trappings of cannabis culture to hit the retail market in the near future, both politically minded and whimsical. And, for once, the typically insular jewelry world is in on the trend.
Unisex jewelry is another trend that points to a societal shift. Like gender-neutral clothing, it is indicative of the growing acceptance of gender fluidity and a disregard for convention.
The style is best expressed through bold signet rings or pendant necklaces with a slight industrial feel, often in mixed metals, that give a “borrowed-from-the-boyfriend” feel to an outfit.
The popularity of studs to be worn in multiple piercings gave way to some larger earring looks last year, like the chandelier and shoulder-dusters.
Next up, look for more innovative statement styles in the vein of Ana Khouri.
Likewise, Kat Kim’s ear pin was pictured on just about every celebrity imaginable in 2018, and Kim Mee Hye is constantly thinking of new and inventive ways women can adorn their ears.
While some trends trickle down from fashion runways and luxury brands, others trickle up from the street.
Urban staples like script rings, gold chains and hoop earrings have worked their way into the mainstream, becoming a mainstay for the stylistically savvy far outside the realm of hip-hop.
Inlay All Day
The ubiquity of enamel (that trend is still going strong, by the way) has paved the way for inlay, another way to create large swaths of dynamic color through relatively inexpensive stones like lapis lazuli, turquoise, mother-of-pearl, malachite and pink opal.
While many gemstone-favoring designers have long incorporated inlay and the aforementioned stones into their work, it’s exciting to watch a newer crop of brands, like Retrouvaí, explore the possibilities the technique has to offer.
What’s Old Is New
I’ve also seen a movement toward new brands (like Toni + Chloё Goutal and Mindi Mond) sourcing antique pieces, refurbishing them or even reworking them altogether to create pieces that are totally new, breathing modernity into old items from the jewelry box.
An emphasis on color in recent years has resulted in a slew of rainbow, pastel and ombré styles hitting retailer’s showcases.
But I’m finding the most inspiring technicolor designs are coming from designers who have a gift for color, carefully combining shades of the same color family rather than throwing every hue of the rainbow together.
Vram, Arman Sarkisyan and Nam Cho are all designers of the highest caliber who make an art out of stone selection, crafting tonal stories that are undeniably appealing to the eye.
Symbols derived from Eastern spiritual practices are only growing in their appeal. Their best versions, like the ones pictured, work on both a spiritual and intellectual level.
Noor Fares’ excellent Chakra collection debuted last year and is based on the premise of energy centers in the body, touted in Hinduism as well as many new-age spiritual practices. Communion by Joy hand-engraves her rings by channeling energy from a force she says is greater than she is.
As concepts like mindfulness and practices like meditation become more commonplace in western cultures, so do works of art inspired by them. It’s just one more way that fine jewelry can feel meaningful and sentimental to its owners.
Echoing other segments of the industry like mining, in which traceability and sustainability are ever more important, designers continue to experiment with alternative sustainable materials.
Vogue Italia’s American jewelry design showcase has transformed into a call to contemporary designers to broaden their sourcing materials, using non-traditional items like tagua nut as an ivory substitute.
A number of designers like Dana Bronfman, Ana Katarina Fine Jewelry and Yael Sonia aren’t sacrificing style for eco-responsibility; instead they’re letting their imaginations run wild by searching for unexpected resources.
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