Friday, June 05, 2009

Couture designs show effects of recession

Lightweight and sterling silver pieces cater to price-conscious buyers


Price-conscious buyers and jewelry designs that cater to them have been recurring themes at the 2009 Couture show, displaying the effects the economic recession has had on the high-end luxury sector.

The designs the show is renowned for--innovative, intricately crafted pieces, big, bold styles, and gemstone- and diamond-intensive baubles from the world's leading jewelry designers--are out in full force, but so too is a new breed of designs for this show.

Uber-lightweight gold designs are a prevalent sight, especially in earring form--from simple, thread-through styles that hang from both the front and back of the earlobe, to delicate yet large hoops as thin as wire.

Openwork pieces continue to be seen, allowing for the oversized looks that are in fashion's favor while also catering to price-conscious consumers.

And scaled-down pieces in general have also been a common sight. While brands continue to produce the large, couture-level designs that helped build their names and reputations, they might take the same theme and realize it in smaller form, in a pendant style as opposed to a bib-necklace form, for example.

As for metals, fine sterling silver has made quite a mark on the 2009 show. While jewelry designers such as Robert Lee Morris have specialized their craft in sterling silver for years, an increasing number of brands has added the metal to their offerings. A collective concern, however, has been maintaining a high level of quality while also offering a lower price point, so sterling designs have been highlighted with colored gemstones or are characterized by detailing and texturing throughout.

Nature-inspired designs, black-and-white pieces and personalized styles remain popular, and in terms of materials, blackened metals and gemstone jewelry with intensive hues continue to be designer favorites. While opaque gemstones such as white agates, onyx and turquoise appeared to be the darlings of previous shows, luminous opal seems to be finding itself newfound appreciation for this go-round.

Designers at the show referenced colored-gemstone jewelry as being among their best-selling designs, and many called out hoop earring styles, stacking items and versatile pieces that are wearable in a number of ways as jeweler favorites.

Another major theme for Couture 2009 (and one in contrast with the trend toward smaller, more understated designs) has been oversized "epic-style" rings. These masterpieces in miniature, worn on the index finger to make up for their hefty form, take the shape of whatever the designer's fancy may be, from animals and flowers to organic forms and cityscapes. As for the materials, the metals and gemstones are just as varied as the forms, with metal-only designs, diamond- or gemstone-studded versions, and carved bone, ivory or wood styles just a few of the possibilities.



Posted via email from Whiteflash Diamonds posterous


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