Forget about grown up sophistication; a child’s garden is a lot more fun to play in! That, certainly, is what jewelry makers are thinking this year as they draw on all kinds of charming kid-stuff as inspiration for new jewelry collections. Chanel, for example, has fashioned a fabulous little carousel necklace, actually a small pendant with little gold pieces circling, like horses in a traditional merry-go-round. The only thing missing is the music!
Then, there are hearts, all over the market. Branded and unbranded hearts. Little girl hearts dressed up for the most adult affairs! Wondrous brooches, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and pins all carry the sights and symbols of childhood into the work-a-day world of the grown up, whimsically reminding us that it’s all right to play at being a child again, once in a while.
Designer Alexandra Francois is in love with childhood images. She has created a fabulous jewelry collection inspired by the bizarre characters out of Alice in Wonderland. Cartoons extend the reach of child play even further. Moschino, for example, offers an adorable red and black Olive Oil scarf for $255. Popeye not included. Try some less costly cartoon scarves. They are just as fashionable and a lot easier on the pocketbook.
ACCESSORY POWER TAKES OVER THE OFFICE
If personal accessories aren’t enough, how about extending the category to cover desk accessories? A new trend afloat has to do with luxury — not for body adornment, but for desks. Consider Bottega Veneta’s newest collection of sterling silver office necessities, such as a letter opener, a ruler, and more. The handsome tools are priced for high-level employees, running from $180 to $2,100. And, they suggest a great niche market for accessories merchants. With more and more women ascending to the Board Room, it’s about time office equipment left Bauhaus functionalism behind, and started looking worthy of the new executive suite.
SPIRIT ANIMALS ROAM THE FASHION WORLD
Looking for some new images to perk up the accessories corner? Look no further!
More and more designers are finding inspiration in the spirit world of animals,
Using real-to-life as well as not-so-alive looking animal figures, now or ever. Big on the jewelry circuit: ravens, lizards, mice, and strange combinations of imaginative animals with dragon tails and kingly crowns. These are more than American Indian spirit figures, these images travel the world and collect ideas everywhere.
For accessory sales, what could be better than a spirit jaguar representing courage and power, or a wild boar for its exceptional intelligence? The subjects unleash a constellation of great selling points for wonderful gifts this season. What dynamite jewels.
RHINESTONES, DESIGNERS, AND SONIA RYKIEL
Designer icon Sonia Rykiel is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the house she created in the fascinating cobblestone streets of Paris. The elegant fashion mode of the offbeat St. Germain designer is known for exquisite knitwear, sexy dresses and…rhinestones! So, look for a strong increase in rhinestone appreciation as lovers of good design, from the most expensive haute couture to artsy bohemian, rush to show off their Rykiel-inspired goodies.
No…you don’t have to visit a fancy French boutique for these beautiful baubles. Rhinestones are everywhere, worn with everything. Think fabulous necklaces, beautiful bracelets and breathtaking earrings. What’s more, rhinestones are no longer known as just sparkling faux stand-ins for diamonds. Rhinestones are valued for themselves!
LESSONS IN GEOMETRY
Seeing spots before your eyes? Don’t worry…that’s just part of the massive geometry wave washing over the fashion industry, with circles and polka dots, squares, stripes, triangles and all things math-related. Major designers are having a ball with the geometric figures, leaning on fabrics from subtle to wild with big, big circles and tiny, tiny over-all polka dots. In the accessories field, the force of geometric perfection is no less powerful. Look for plenty of circle and square formations in handbags and scarves, some in material prints, some in tooled faux and real leather.
— An important point here: Squares as bangle bracelets. This is coming on strong!