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Archive for April, 2011...

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A huge weekend for hats is approaching with the Kentucky Derby on May 7 and Mother’s Day on May 8.  Add to that the Jazz Fest in New Orleans and there is plenty of interest in hats.  Milliners have been pressing to come up with fresh designs to please consumers for this big weekend as well as the summer as hats return to fashion in a big way. 


One surprise this spring was the overwhelming popularity of organza dress hats.  Organza is a light and airy fabric ideal for spring and summer.  It has a semi-transparency and natural sheen.  Bridal and formal wear make abundant use of the fabric and it is growing in popularity for milliners.  Demand has really grown this spring, which leaves us short of supply.  Still some gorgeous organza hast remain in white and ivory, excellent colors for spring and summer.   


Polypropylene dress hats return year after year as classic dress hats for church, Mother’s Day, special events, and the Kentucky Derby.  How do milliners continually innovate these hats for new designs that take your breath every season!  This year high, angled crowns are making impact.  Trims often include horsehair.  When you watch the reviews of hats after the derby, be sure polypropylenes will be there. 

These dress hats are also popular for church and Mother’s Day.  They have a classic look that continues to be popular every spring and summer.  The polypropylene sewn-and-weaved construction gives the appearance of the fine weave of a Milan straw, plus the color selection really pleases women shopping to match outfits. 


Expect to see sinamay hats whenever there is a derby day at the racetrack.  Even the Queen wore one in her appearance at the Kentucky Derby in 2007.  Sinamays have an open weave, making the headwear airy and comfortable in warm weather.  The wide brims as well as rolled down brims are stunning and these dress hats can really match personalities with cavalier shapes that are sassy and shorter rolled down brims that are conservative. 

A wonderful color selection also expands the popularity of these dress hats that have enjoyed a growing market share over the last decade.  Wonderful for Mother’s Day and church as well as the Derby, this dressy headwear is a must for retailers carrying millinery for special occasions. 


Super wide brim hats ooze with a high fashion look.  J-Lo reinvented the look with a floppy brim.  Ralph Lauren reinforced the look when models strutted the runways sporting super widebrims with the latest fashion designs in women’s apparel.     

Super wide brim hats have continually grown in popularity with consumer demand for wider and wider brims.  This season, seven inch brims are common.  Among them is the ribbon hat that uses ¾ inch grosgrain ribbon continually sewn to create a hat with body that is also packable for vacation wear. 

Of course, not everyone wants the super size of a seven-inch brim.  Five-inch six-inch brims are also popular and suit a different personality.  Stock a variety of brim sizes and colors because, judging by early spring sales, widebrims along with cowboy hats and fedoras are the leading headwear for this summer.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Filed under Fashion Jewelry Trends
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Accessories magazine performs a wonderful service for retailers by covering the fashion shows leading up to a season and sorting the work of designers into the major fashion stories of the season.  This blog covers the last two stories that the magazine calls “Outer Galaxy” and “Jungle Patrol”.  Fashion conscious observers may notice that the stories are innovations of trends that have been developing over the last few seasons.  Actually, trends in fashion rise and fall over an extended period—often a decade.  So some stories continue season after season with innovations.  Innovations are the lifeblood of a trend and without them a trend will die. 


Accessories Magazine describes the palette for this story as “vaporous colors” with blues and purples.  Jewelry to accessorize it uses shiny metals and plenty of synthetics like lucite and acrylics.  Transparent glass also plays a part and shapes are futuristic.  Think space age with this trend, developing beyond the geometrics that were a major player in fashion design over the lat few seasons.

Bracelets make use of shiny silver plated bangles and cuffs.  Accessorizing with necklaces also shine with the polished silver plated finish of chokers with oversized metal links or large metal beading.  Earrings take geometric shapes like squared hoops

Plastic jewelry with modernistic design shines with bright colors in collars.  Transparent glass accessorizes with beading or futuristic shapes, often with tines of blue or other ethereal hues. 


Hats as well as headbands have a metallic sheen with silver color especially popular.  Sequins are a player in delivering the shine.  The metallic statement extends to scarves as well as belts and handbags. 

Mirrored sunglasses are also big in this story with futuristic wrap arounds, metal frames, and goggle shapes.  The story appeals to a younger shoppers, but the next major trend we cover has universal appeal.


The final fashion story is a real turn around from the futuristic trend.  Colors and prints reflect the terrain of the earth with olive greens and palm colors as well as sand and hues of brown.  Camouflage is part of the story as well as prints with animals, leaves, and reptile motifs.  Burnished platings replace shiny metals in jewelry.  The hand worked look of hammered and distressed metals adds a rugged flair. 

Nature is a big part of fashion jewelry accessorizing this story.  Gemstone has been uptrending for a number of seasons.  Imagine the impact gemstone jewelry can have with this trend!   What color could be more appropriate than the mottled olive and rose of Unakite jewelry!  Then there are all the wonderful hues of brown from tiger’s eye and brown agate to the sand-like hues or picture jasper and rutilated quartz.  Gemstone jewelry accessorizes the “Jungle Patrol” look in a most appropriate way while giving consumers intriguing designs that only nature can produce.  Nature provides the colors in hues of green and brown to match the story and eye-catching jewelry in bracelets, earrings, and necklace sets use gemstones in these colors for accessories your customers can’t resist. 


Woods also provide accessories from nature that coordinate well with the safari trend.  Bracelets are especially popular, but wood chokers mix beads in different natural shades to create a rustic design that fits right in with this trend. 

This season shell jewelry is back in a big way.  Brown lip mother-of-pearl stands out as necklace sets, especially with big disk pendants that really display the natural beauty of the sea.  The same shell is fabulous in multi-strand bracelets to go with the story. 

The safari trend is a favorite with consumers and continues to develop season after season.  The forecast of fall trends are already out and this story that centers on nature is back with innovations that reinvent it.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Filed under Fashion Jewelry Trends
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Accessories Magazine gives retailers a huge jump on preparing for upcoming seasons with forecasting that captures the main trend lines, sorting them into stories.  Retailers cannot only use the information for purchases of jewelry, accessories, and apparel, but they can also group accessories into stories in their shop for greater impact.  Last blog covered “Brazilian Beat” and this blog starts with “She’s a Lady”, a very feminine look in fashion that extends to jewelry and accessories. 

Apparel for this look uses soft colors, ruffles, and netting, as well as ribbon and embroidered trims.  The look is very feminine, focusing on the neck and shoulders. 


Strapless dresses and scoop necklines are part of the story, making chokers and long dangling earrings ideal accessories.  Tailored looks in mother of pearl use inlays to create bracelets, earrings, pendants, and chokers.  A classic style is mother of pearl framed pendants on chokers for a sophisticated tailored look perfect with career wear.   Other shells, such as abalone or paua create more designs in pendants with natural beauty from the sea.


Longer necklaces coordinate the story with the white iridescence of mother of pearl in designs with shell donuts spaced in multiple layers of chain.  Other styles use large mother of pearl pendants dropping from multiple strands of shell to create today’s statement necklaces with the creamy white color. 


Jewelry also uses metals in filigree designs that capture the lacy look to accessorize the story.  Long dangling earrings  fit nicely into this category with a frilly statement that is very feminine. 

Pearl and crystal ropes accessorize this story nicely and pearl chokers bring attention to the neck.  The meandering faux pearl necklace pictured offers silver or gold plated settings, which present very different looks.  “That’s a Lady” is a developing story, building on trends from the past few seasons.  As long as trends have innovation, they have possibilities for growth. 


Accessories Magazine pinpoints another fashion story that is a predominant theme for summer jewelry and accessories this year—a theme they call “Country Roads”.  As you would expect, this is a blend of rural looks and The Wild West.  Leathers from tooled to suede are big here and all the shades of brown that go with leather.  Denim is also important from faded to that new jeans color, as well as gingham prints. 


No doubt, turquoise jewelry will be big with this theme that includes some Southwest inspiration.  Visit some upscale department stores and look at their showcases.  I visited Dillards and Macy’s and they’re showing plenty of turquoise along with red coral again.  They certainly have confidence that turquoise sells again this summer. 

Jewelry with darker platings are trendy with this fashion story—multiple long burnished chains, or pewter and brass combinations.  Shown is a large disk necklace with faux turquoise beading and antiqued bronze plated pendant. 


Jewelry with themes that are western or rural easily fit into this story.  The choker shown is silver plated with a herd of horses.  Imagine this set with an outfit that combines buckskin brown with faded denim. The theme pendant selection of the site offers numerous possibilities in western and rural slides that coordinate naturally with “Country Roads”. 

Scarves in long cotton oblongs, gingham patterns, or prints that fit into the country theme like horses or rope designs can bring this summer’s trend to an outfit.  


Handbags in denim as well as leather coordinate with this theme.  Faux leathers provide the look at a fraction of the price extending from bags with embossed grain to suede and tooled leather looks. 

Southwestern has been a part of fashion for so long that it seems timeless.  The same can be said for denim.   When we weigh that with this season’s trend stories, “Country Roads” has to be a dominant force in summer fashion trends because it is a look consumers don’t want to turn loose.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Filed under Fashion Accessory Trends, Fashion Jewelry Trends, Fashion Trends, Uncategorized
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 Each year Accessories Magazine follows the runways for the upcoming season, taking several hundred pictures, and sorting the results into the main stories that reveal the trends for the season.  Small retailers do not have the resources of large corporations that can hire expensive forecasting services that keep them up-to-date on what is coming in fashion.  So we can be thankful for Accessories Magazine that provides a wonderful service that helps retailers prepare for each season. 

This blog and the two following will cover the five stories that are predominant in the upcoming looks for jewelry, accessories, and apparel this spring and summer.  The first has the title, “Brazilian Beat” and as you would expect, the colors are vibrant.  The bright colors on the summer palette that was covered in the last two blogs are in the Brazilian story—coral rose, regatta, honeysuckle, as well as some colors that were not there like vibrant yellow. 

How are you going to accessorize these vibrant colors that jump out at you?  There are different options to suit different personalities.   The outgoing personality may want to make the most of the Brazilian look by accessorizing a vibrant blue with strands of blue beading or use a complimentary color scheme like graduated beads in coral rose.  I visited Macy’s in Lafayette, La. and they had two showcases in bold and vibrant colored jewelry that will certainly grab customers’ attention and play to this theme.  Retailers can find bright colors in necklace sets on Accessory Wholesale Inc’s site under Fashion Jewelry Sets.    

Jewelry in sea life themes are also big with this fashion story, especially multicolor necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.  Another theme in jewelry very hot this spring is garden themes with flower blossoms, butterflies, hummingbirds, and ladybugs.  In fact, the garden theme goes beyond the Brazilian fashion story to become an important jewelry theme that permeates every story in summer trends. 

The festive colors invite fun jewelry to accessorize the story.  One exciting innovation for summer is charm earrings with tiny bright colored charms dangling on delicate chain for trapeze-style earrings that capture a number of themes.  Several of the themes in these earrings are perfect for accessorizing the Brazilian look.

Personalities that are more conservative will want fashion jewelry that tones down the color.  Plated fashion jewelry is one way to subdue the bright color.  Multiple ropes with plated chain, metal link necklace sets, thin metal bangles, or graduated plated beading can do the trick. 

This season will also see endless designs using faceted glass pendants on chains.  Faceted glass jewelry that compliments the apparel takes some edge off of the bright colors.  Also turquoise is the color of the year, so multiple strands of turquoise with strands of beading in neutral colors will go with many hues in the Brazilian story and at the same time tone down the shock of vibrant color. 

Another way to capture the fashion story for spring 2011 in a more conservative way is to let the accessories do the work.  The jewelry, handbags, hats, and shoes can deliver the Brazilian color with neutrals or earth tones that can already be hanging in the closet from last year.  This updates a wardrobe, making it right in style for this summer while saving the price of new apparel. 

While not for everyone, vibrant color of the Brazilian story adds excitement that wakes up fashion after a cold winter.  Adding some bright color plus sea life and garden themes will have customers thinking summer when they shop with you.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Filed under fashion colors, Fashion Jewelry Trends, Uncategorized
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Apparel and accessories appear in stores at the dawn of every season with predominant colors that define that season.  This takes place almost magically from coast to coast.  Who determines these colors and how do they populate the stores all at the same time?  Well each designer works with a palette of colors and they are not all the same.   Pantone, a leader in color analysis, studies the runways for the upcoming season and creates a palette with the leading colors.  This is a huge help for retailers, preparing for an upcoming season. 

Part I covered beeswax, a honey-like hue of yellow, which complimented regatta, a bright blue lighter that royal and a little deeper than turquoise.  There is another warm color in this season’s palette that is close to beeswax on the color wheel–coral rose.  This is a rich orange close to tangerine and compliments regatta much like beeswax.  A complimentary color scheme pairs opposites on the color wheel and coral rose is nearly opposite regatta. 

People instinctively coordinate accessories with apparel when they have the same color in different shades.  Color experts call this an analogous color scheme that combines a color with adjacent colors on the wheel.  We are in prom season right now and prom girls will be searching for accessories for their gowns.  An evening bag shows the coral rose color, which we can imagine accessorizing adjacent colors like orange and peach or complimenting hues of blue like regatta.

Before we continue with the colors, let’s talk about a helpful tool for coordinating the colors, the color wheel pro.  If coordinating is important to your fashion business, you may want to make a small investment into this tool.  Spin the color wheel to any color and it will show the complimenting color on the opposite side. An analogous color scheme offers another alternative.   Pairing with colors adjacent to the chosen shade creates analogous coordination.  A third possibility is a triadic color scheme that divides the color wheel into a pie with three equal pieces.  This scheme says Color Wheel Pro, “is not as contrasting as the complementary scheme, but it looks more balanced and harmonious”. 

Returning to the Pantone palette, another blue, very close to turquoise, is Blue Curacao. In fact, it is so close to turquoise that we used turquoise earrings as an example of the hue.  This color can combine with the same two warm colors that complimented regatta.  Curacao is actually an island in the Caribbean so the implication is this is a Caribbean color.

Close to the family of blues is lavender, a romantic color.  Pantone suggest pairing with beeswax or coral rose for unique results.  An amethyst bracelet displays the color here.  This gemstone, once reserved for royalty, is popping up in the showcases of boutiques and upscale department stores. Expect to see plenty of amethyst this summer.  It is a gorgeous way to display lavender color plus the gemstone jewelry formed by nature is perceived to have intrinsic value. 

The neutral color in the palette is silver cloud, a soft grey that accessorizes easily.  Grey has been popular in recent seasons and seems to be a fashion favorite to continue, at least for the near future.  Pictured is a scarf in the color that can tone down some of the vivid colors of the palette while accessorizing them. 

The remaining two colors, Pantone describes as nude hues.  The color, a little darker than champagne made a big splash in 2009 and has been with us since.  The first is silver peony, which has a slight pinkish cast.  The necklace set shown with swirling hues captures the color.

The introduction of the color in 2009 presented it in the near champagne tone as mentioned.  Since then the color has expanded to include a range of skin tones and Pantone includes russet in the category this season—a color with a light brown hue.  A crystal bracelet demonstrates the color. 

Jewelry and accessories can bring the season’s palette to solid colors and neutrals, which often updates last year’s wardrobes with this season’s colors.  Also, when apparel uses the season’s palette, accessories and jewelry can coordinate with hues in adjacent colors or a complimentary color, so the range of tones in jewelry can be very wide. 

Helping customers make striking combinations with jewelry and accessories will build the stature of your shop and clientele returning.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Filed under Fashion Accessories, fashion colors
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 A quick glance at the spring and summer palette will make you think this season’s colors are in a Caribbean theme.  But a closer look at Pantone’s palette reveals hues that don’t fit into Caribbean—colors like beeswax, russet, and silver peony.  Pantone says the inspiration is exotic destinations like Africa, Peru, Turkey, and India. 

While black, white, and the metal colors of silver or gold plating are timeless in fashion jewelry and accessories, the season’s palette is important because these hues that change with each new season are part of the excitement of fashion consumers look forward to each year.  These colors keep your accessories in tune with what is going on in apparel.  Pantone points out that the palette has a mix of warm and cool colors and an interesting point is that many colors are opposites on the color wheel so pairing apparel and accessories in these opposites has stunning results.  

Turquoise is the color of the year and we will come back to that, but let’s begin with regatta, a blue that is a little deeper than turquoise and much lighter than royal.  This is a cool color that is soothing and the color opposite it on the color wheel is beeswax, which is the next color featured.  Apparel and accessories using the combination create a classic complimentary color scheme of opposites.  Color experts call this combination of opposites a complimentary color scheme.  Create this combination in your store because it will be a key look for the spring and summer. 

Beeswax has yellow edging towards honey that delivers an almost butterscotch color.  Consider the combination with regatta mentioned above when combining with apparel.   Shown is a ladies dress hat that can really stand out with a regatta suit.  Another way to accessorize the color is coordinating with the hues adjacent to the color on the color wheel.  This is referred to as an analogous color scheme where accessories or jewelry has a slightly different hue than the apparel. 


Before we continue, let’s cover turquoise that is the color of the year.  For at least three years, turquoise has been important in fashion. It contributed to a boom in gemstone jewelry that is still going on.  When consumers see so much turquoise jewelry in the market at affordable prices, they wonder can it be real.    With gemstone quality of turquoise costing $1,500 per pound, we know for sure that it is not top grade turquoise. 

Actually, the turquoise used in fashion jewelry in nearly all reconstituted.  What does that mean?  Well…, low quality turquoise is ground up and mixed with resin and dye and then formed into stones or sheets, from which stones are cut.  The outside receives an attractive coating and the components of the jewelry still have the cold feel of characteristic of turquoise. 

The value is far less, but the fashion jewelry created with these stones has a gorgeous look that cannot be ignored.   While most of the gemstone jewelry like rose quartz and tiger’s eye has some intrinsic value, the value of the reconstituted turquoise jewelry is mainly in the artwork.  This season turquoise jewelry is back again with fresh designs that are gracing the showcases of upscale fashion retailers and department stores. 

Now back to the palette for spring.  If you print Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for Spring 2011, honeysuckle is on the cover.   This pleasing rosy color suggests a Caribbean theme.  Pantone says it “makes customers feel alive, and is a perfect post-winter pick me up”.  We are in spring right now with Easter approaching, so imagine this color in ladies dress hats going with a suit.  The suit can be match, an adjacent color with a different hue, or a complimentary color.  In this case, the opposite on the color wheel is peapod, the color we will cover next.  This pairing of apparel and accessories is striking and may be something most would not have tried.  In Part II of the color blog, we will provide information about tools that make combining colors easy. 

The final color in Part I is peapod.  This is a soft green color with a tinge of yellow that Pantone says “is reminiscent of the green shoots that signify change and new beginnings traditionally found in spring”.  The necklace set shown provides the color which would be stunning with honeysuckle apparel as well as with other hues of green.  We have six more colors on the palette that we will cover in Part II. Also look forward to some other novel ways of combining colors.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Friday, April 1st, 2011