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Ideas for Jewelry & Accessory Businesses
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Jewelry like you have never seen before:  That’s what Milan offered up recently in a fabulous fashion week that centered on vivid colors, endless prints, and metallics galore. 

Sheer, billowy fabrics offered up a gentle, sometimes other-worldly, effect, while fitted dresses and low cut necklines heightened the sexy factor, which designers have been hiding under material layers for several seasons now. 


But nothing could compare with the jewelry!  Statement necklaces certainly led the Look-At-Me parade.  Giorgio Armani featured multi-strands of mixed large blue opaque and violet crystal beads in a bib that completely covered the bodice. Another Armani special was a large black and white blossom with silver filigree leaves hanging off a beaded black choker.


Some of the wildest necklaces could be found at Burberry Prorsum, some very artsy-craftsy.  A necklace of bunched dark resin leaves looked terrific over a pale blue dress and raincoat ensemble.  A long, to-the-waist necklace of beads that looked a little like a cornucopia mélange of plenty decorated a blue print dress with white coat combination.  Even more dramatic was a heavy, bold necklace of bunched reddish metal squares that could be paint chips found at a hardware store. Sounds crazy, but it actually looked good both architectural! 


Missoni stayed with the statement necklace, but did it in a unique way.   Here a necklace and geometric, done in slivered silver, combined effectively with a pale pink and yellow print dress. The necklace was chandelier-like with levels of circles, squares, and free-form silver pieces build one on top of the other. 


Not everybody was totally other-worldly.  Gucci featured a below-the-waist chain necklace with odd-shaped gemstone stations.  Bottega Veneta featured a long chain necklace, also falling below the waist, ending in a bunch of feather-like pieces. 


Many of the necklaces were too far-out for practical merchandising, but that’s usually the point in haute couture shows, anyway.  The idea here is always the idea.  What is being said?  The exaggeration literally exaggerates the statement.  So, let’s look at these fantastic pieces a little more closely.  Some of the messages for new jewelry:


  • in Different looks. Definitely one-of-a-kind. Sophisticated and unexpected. Futuristic forms and materials. Some artsy-craftsy.


  • in Bold, brash, assertive pieces. Necklaces that do more than accessorize; they are, in many instances, the focal point of the fashion itself.


  • in Mixed beads. Different sizes and styles. Glass or crystal with resin. Interesting combinations.


  • in Big, exaggerated pendants, both realistic and “it’s anybody’s guess…”



  • in Chains, by themselves (and then quite conventional), and with bead and gemstone stations.


  • in Below the waist lengths. Very swingy styles.


  • in Leafy themes. Floral stories. Big blossoms a la Georgia O’Keefe.


Of course, these were just some of the exciting, vibrantly new looks out of Milan this season, where short-short skirts predominated, even as a new sense of refinement entered the market.  At Bilancionic, for example, a nonchalant glamour with unexpected material mixes (like a big sweater with a taffeta ball gown skirt) brought a rich, country club feel to fashion.  Accessories here ran from big, dramatic cuffs to statement necklaces and wrap-around cummerbunds.


Bracelets were, overall, seen in multiples:  cuffs and bangles running one after the other up the arm almost to the elbow.  Gold and silver metal bangles were big, as were enameled pieces. 


Scarves also got celebrity treatment in Italy this season.  Many were done in vibrant, even intense, prints.  Gucci showed a long, skinny scarf in red and blue stripes tied around the neck and falling long, below the waist.  The long and narrow story was very important for scarves.  Also important:  little neckerchiefs tied around the neck, and small scarves wrapped around the neck as fill-ins. A fun look from Dolce & Gabbana featured a blue and mauve print scarf wrapped around the neck and then tied into a big, puffy flower.  It would probably take some time to learn how to do this, but it would be time well spent.


A much appreciated design surprise was the return of collars, mostly beaded with expensive, glittery stones and worn over jackets and dresses.  They furthered the “emphasis on the neckline” look getting strong play here.


And, taking things up a couple of notches, sunglasses did not fail to offer the public a renewed taste of La Dolce Vita. Big glasses with light colored rims and super dark lens were sometimes slightly cartoonish, at other times sexy and mysterious.  They were at all times, pure Latin hot-stuff.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Thursday, October 30th, 2008

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