Cool yule: Christmas trends 2012
Kate Donovan asks brands and designers to look into their Christmas baubles and forecast what will be topping wish lists for the 2012 festive season
Big, bold and beautiful
There’ll be no room for shrinking violets because women’s winter jewellery wardrobes will be rich in large pieces, strong shapes and eye-catching stones.
This Christmas is about style that stands out and the Leading Lady collection from Ti Sento, featuring faceted pear shapes in aubergine and honey caramel cat’s eye, pack a punch of sparkle with every movement.
As does the Romance collection from CW Sellors, which incorporates large clustered and multi-stone designs that reflect bold romantic feelings.
Meanwhile, Dower & Hall’s Jewel collection maxes out on colour from amethyst, rock crystal, moonstone and purple sapphire in its vibrant statement pieces.
“Here at Dower & Hall we expect ‘big, bold and beautiful’ will be the style statement for A/W 2012, with bright and punchy jewel tones to sweep across all things fashion and jewellery,” confirms Kate Silvester, PR manager for Dower & Hall.
Also combining bold with glamour, Gemex has designed a range of classic yet decadent-style eternity rings with a minimum E Colour VVS Clarity diamonds in platinum.
Managing sales director Lee Ruben says: “For us, the top-end of the jewellery market has remained extremely strong, albeit during one of the worst recessions this country has ever experienced, so it makes good commercial sense to continually increase the stakes with the focus being on quality.”
Gifts that keep giving
With the public increasingly keen to make socially conscious buying decisions, gifts that give people the opportunity to ‘give back’ are going to be Christmas hits.
Peruvian jewellery brand Chavin is offering Christmas buyers style with a conscience with its Caring bracelets. Each coloured bracelet is named after Peruvian mothers who are the beneficiaries from the sale of these bracelets and other products as part of Chavin’s charity partner SOS Children’s Luz y Vida project.
In the same vein, jewellery that has meaning will also be making an impact this festive season. The Astra collection from Deci London makes for a thoughtful gift, providing a sophisticated way of wearing a reference to star signs and birthstones. The collection of pendant necklaces and bracelets is based on the 12 signs of the zodiac and is set with stones that map out each sign’s astral constellation. Each silver or gold pendant is set with the precious birthstones that represent the two calendar months over which each zodiac sign falls. A gift oozing with style and thoughtfulness.
Kaleidoscope of colour
Recessionary doom and gloom is being symbolically thwarted with a current move towards the brightest of colour palettes and this chilly season will be no exception. Jianhui London isn’t holding back when it comes to the colour combos used in his big crystal and memory wire bracelets, while the vermeil and crystal Medicis collection from Baccarat exudes warmth with its pink, brown and red pops of colour.
The bead brands are thinking rainbow too. Pandora’s pavé charms offer wearers a blast of colour, as do Chamilia’s Swarovski beads and Trollbeads’ selection of pieces with rich, festive colours and seasonal sparkle.
For those wanting to combine statement jewellery with a passion for colour, Eastern Mystic’s brightly coloured Swarovski stone-set jewellery can transform a dress for the party season.
Meanwhile, refusing to scrimp on materials this Christmas and having continued to see strong sales of 18ct gold, Marco Bicego’s designs are likely to prove popular for those treating themselves or loved ones, featuring richly coloured gemstones and pieces with tri-tones of white, yellow and rose gold.
Cute and cool
While statement jewellery is likely to be under numerous Christmas trees this year, at the other end of the scale it’s cute and cool that will be flying off the shelves, appealing to those who like their jewellery to have a quirky kick.
Man-made gem brand Carat* is complementing its attention-seeking larger cocktail rings and chandelier earrings with (pictured) sweet and stylish Chelsea bracelets.
“This being a big party season, there is always naturally a higher demand from our clients for more grown-up, glamorous jewellery items that they can wear to Christmas functions,” says Sharon Bhandal, Carat* UK operations director. “We are also expecting high volume sales for our recently launched Chelsea bracelets collection, which are fun and flirty, and with prices starting from £50 they are just perfect for gift giving and even self-gifting.”
Sterling silver with platinum vermeil and 18ct yellow gold vermeil, the fun motifs are the epitome of cool, including stars, hearts, lips, guns, rockets and flip-flops.
Guess Jewellery’s Crystal Candy is also a funky alternative, the black rock crystal offering bold-coloured outfits and block colours a punky edge.
Less is more too with Melinda Mulcahy’s Star collection, which mixes gold and silver elements. The festive star is given a modern twist of silver, juxtaposed with gold vermeil.
Steeped in sentiment
Come Christmas, customers often up the ante on buying their loved ones gifts that have meaning beyond their material value. Designers are responding to this demand and the result is an array of treasures with touching detail, vintage-style and thoughtful messages.
King of jewellery that says something special Alex Monroe has delivered again for A/W 2012 with his Dream of Me collection of love tokens and keepsakes. The romantic connotations of keys and hearts are captured in a style inspired by Edwardian courtship and given a modern twist through contrasting metals and textures.
Also tugging at the heartstrings, is Links of London with its Keepsakes collection. The range of charms feature symbols, motifs and icons that celebrate personal milestones, and map a timeline of key moments. Designed in rose, yellow and white gold as well as silver, and inlaid with mother of pearl and pavé diamonds, the charms have a level of detail giving them great personality. Some open as lockets while others have hidden engraved messages or the option of personal engraving or a message written on a hidden piece of paper.
Also likely to strike a note this festive season is Clogau Gold, which combines its usual flair for sentiment with Welsh references. As well as adding to S/S 2012 launches such as Eternal Love, Royal Roses and Am Byth, brand new collections include Swallow Falls, inspired by the waterfall in North Wales and Glyn Rhosyn, which takes its name from the site of the Cathedral city of St David’s in Wales.
Back to nature
Gothic spiders and gem-encrusted scorpions will make way for simplistic and sweet homages to nature this Christmas.
Small and furry are captured beautifully in Jana Reinhardt’s capsule collection of winter woodland animal jewellery, which includes the Hibernating Hedgehog gold or silver pendant.
Meanwhile, London Road’s yellow gold Kew Bugs - including butterflies, bumble bees and dragonflies - receive a touch of subtle sparkle with black diamond-eye adornments.
“I see the organic look incorporating texture and colour with influences from the natural world being key this Christmas,” says Suzanne Adams, creative director for London Road. “Rose gold will be strong. As will the vintage look, which can be seen in our Starry Nights collection, and will be reflected in our upcoming collections to be launched at International Jewellery London in September.”
Pedal to the metal
The ongoing price hikes in gold and silver have had us talking about the use of negative space, alternative materials and all sorts of metal-minimising options. However, a number of product releases for Christmas suggest that substantial metal jewellery is likely to be a favourite for the season.
Designer Doreth Jones offers a contemporary take on the A/W 2012 soft spot for strong, clean geometric lines with her sleek minimal pyramid cufflinks, which come in sandblast sterling silver, polished sterling silver and black rhodium plated sterling silver. “These are ideal companions for the season’s look and will set the tone for both formal and informal attire,” she says. “Cufflinks are always popular items of jewellery to purchase as gifts.”
For women too, the edgy look of textured metal is likely to be topping wish lists.
“A big fashion trend shining through for this winter is tough girl chic,” says Nina Lamb, jewellery designer, Enelle London. “There will be a lot of leather, zips and studs cruising us down an easy rider, lady biker highway.” On that note, Lamb expects her studded collection of oversized hoop earrings and pendants necklaces to be worn to add some refinement to edgy trends.
On the softer side of metal jewellery, the Lapponia Sparkling Spring necklace by designer Chao-Hsien Kuo is the sort of statement silver piece that the Finnish brand expects to be flying off shelves at Christmas. “At Christmas, husbands tend to purchase pieces for their wives to add to their collection of Lapponia,” explains Charles Vickers, sales agent for Lapponia UK. “Knowing their wives appreciate the design and the quality of the craftsmanship, they often opt for the more important avante garde pieces, which stand out from much of the other silver jewellery on offer.”