TRENDS: SS15 trade show highlights

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Professional Jeweller tracks down the trends at Jewellery & Watch Birmingham to find out what’s shaking the world of jewellery design in 2015.

Duo-metal and in some cases triple-metal finishes were the order of the day at Jewellery & Watch Birmingham, with a huge selection of brands opting to mix metals across wedding rings, engagement rings, fine jewellery and fashion collections.

Clogau, which adds accents of 9ct rose gold to the majority of its product lines, continued to work the trend well in its Daffodil and Orchid ranges for SS15. It also presented a broader range of charms, including binoculars, mini-passports and vintage suitcases from its new travel-inspired collection, in a mix of silver and rose gold.

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Gecko utilises 9ct white and yellow gold in its new collections for Elements Gold, including circle pendants, teardropshaped earrings and delicate cascading designs with the added addition of 9ct rose gold. Similarly, Purity925 enjoyed significant success with its equally organic and flowing styles incorporating sterling silver and rose and yellow gold-plated accents. In a post-show statement, parent company CL Edwards reported a 50% increase in orders taken at J&WB 2015 in comparison to 2014, with two and three stone.

And the trend didn’t stop there, with Pandora also showcasing a range of mixed metal finish pieces across its fresh collections for SS15, including its Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day ranges. Highlights include the Infinite Love stacking ring and the sterling silver Always in My Heart charm with 14ct gold detailing. At Danish watch brand Bering, its Arctic Symphony and Ceramic Link ring collections put mixing metals in the hands of the consumer, with interchangeable pieces that can be screwed together to create stackable designs.

Moving across the hall to the Design Quarter area of J&WB, Phoebe Jewellery presented its new Wild Strawberry pieces alongside its Woodland collection in sterling silver with 18ct gold vermeil adornments.
And the trend for two-tone metals continued into The Company of Master Jewellers’ spring buying event, with Alexis Dove presenting rose gold animal charms on silver chains and OAK jewellery showcasing its Feather of Grace charm and Treasure Tree pendant in sterling silver and gold vermeil.

Mark Milton combined duo metals – this time 9ct yellow gold and silver – with the most popular colour of Jewellery & Watch Birmingham (and perhaps SS15), sky blue. Blue topaz was the popular choice among branded fashion jewellery retailers, while fine jewellery suppliers opted for sapphires and brilliant aquamarine — a gemstone that’s becoming particularly difficult to find in the most striking colours.

Also making the most of 9ct gold is Dower & Hall, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a smattering of new collections this year. Its Fireworks range of 9ct yellow and white gold pieces with a soft beaten finish incorporate sombre shades of blue sapphires, pink sapphires and tsavorites, while its Dewdrop offer combines the trend for duometals with white topaz.

Continuing the trend for blue, Ti Sento presented its Il Giorno Nuovo range of rhodiumplated sterling silver pieces with eye-catching, faceted blue zirconia at J&WB. The collection offers rings, bracelets and pendants with a soft organic shape — something that feels more in-tune with the Mediterranean than the confines of the Birmingham NEC. Similarly, pearl jewellery brand Claudia Bradby presented its take on summer colours with its Calypso range for SS15, incorporating blue amazonite and pearls, while Amore Argento presented its classic Blue Lagoon pendant and earring set with blue topaz.
With Mark Milton and Ti Sento showing a more organic and natural aesthetic, Gecko appeared to be on the same lines with its new offer for Fiorelli, including faceted synthetic stones surrounded by a halo of cubic zirconia in soft, warm settings.
Fiorelli also appears to have tapped into another trend for long, detailed chain necklaces, which could be seen at Claudia Bradby, Sif Jakobs, Fei Liu, Engelsrufer and Ti Sento among others. Focusing on Sif Jakobs, the brand presented its new range of Arezzo wraparound leather wristwear at the show, including the metallic Bronze and Bordeaux colourways studded with cubic zirconia. Also presenting leather wristwear was Unique Jewelry, Trollbeads, Endless Jewelry andMidhaven with its Tribal jewellery range.

From macro trends to micro trends now, with Ntinga, UJT Ltd, Hockley Mint and Domino presenting diamond and gemstone ‘illusion’ ranges designed to make lots of smaller stones look like one larger gem. This focus on creating new price points for similar-looking ranges is also reflected in the growing number of 9ct gold collections, especially at manufacturers like Continental Jewellery UK.

Elsewhere, mini hoops that hug the earlobe popped up occasionally, alongside a smattering of cabochon stones, daisy designs and heart shapes — seen in claws and settings at UJT Ltd and Hockley Mint. Tanzanites appeared to be a popular choice among precious gemstone collections, with smoky quartz, milky quartz, opal, citrine and aquamarine sparkling from cabinets across Halls 17 and 18.

Finally, high-concept brands proved there’s still room for a product-specific focus or an unusual back-story in the UK trade. Endless Jewelry continued to grow with its Jennifer Lopez-fronted leather bracelet and charms range, while Chrysalis showcased new pointof- sale material for its extensive charm bangle collections.

In contrast, designer brands like Esoteric Luxury and Charlotte Lowe presented focused, story-telling collections that highlight the importance of a solid brand identity — something that the majority of exhibitors appear to have honed in the last 12 months.

This feature originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Professional Jeweller. Read it here.

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