An Expert Trend Story by Maia Adams from Adorn Insight
Color is one of those fundamental design elements that jewelers can use to create fascinating effects. A fresh colorway can update a best-selling collection, revive an iconic style or motivate the launch of an entirely new concept, leading to increased sales and marketing opportunities.
In recent times, consumers’ confidence with color has grown, and unusual hues or unorthodox palettes are seen as a great way to telegraph personal style. This attitude has, in turn, opened up the field for designers to explore, and even take risks, with color.
But whilst variety is the spice of life, and experimentation should always be encouraged, an awareness of current trends will ensure that color selections are commercially on point.
Rainbow assortments, for example, are big news right now. Interestingly, in addition to the prismatic range of bold hues that typify the classic rainbow, we are seeing a parallel move towards softer pastel tones which echo the nostalgic vibe that is inspiring design aesthetics across multiple fields.
From the Millennial Pink phenomenon and soft-focus Instagram filters, to a raft of Mid Century-inspired interiors decorated in shades of rose, mint and periwinkle, the mood for cool retro is well served by the paler tones of the new pastel rainbow.
The trick to successfully navigating this approach is to introduce contemporary flourishes that update designs for a modern sensibility. Feminine colors will, of course, complement typically feminine silhouettes but by playing with scale (by adding a dramatic chain fringe, or oversized gemstones) and silhouette – think sculptural but open constructions – you can add instant appeal.
Consider not just where, but how, you use color too. There are a number of applications that can support engaging design. Color blocking – the use of contrasting blocks or panels of solid color –
has long been a staple of artists and designers looking to create
eye-catching objects. The trick here is to incorporate pops of color that are clearly delineated from one another. This graphic strategy can be really effective on designs that layer, stack and interlink.
The ‘total look’ sees multiple elements selected according to a single colour. Mixed media solutions are ideal here, as assorted materials and finishes introduce textural variance across a mono-hued design. Consider matching a gemstone colour with a setting that has been powder coated or nano ceramic coated to an identical hue.
The ‘tonal’ approach to color application was noteworthy in the latest high jewelry collections of Dior, Chanel and Van Cleef & Arpels. Here, different shades of a single color gemstone – typically ranging from light to dark – can be elaborately pavé set to create patterns and imagery full of depth. Alternatively, a blend of transparent, translucent and opaque gemstones such as pink topaz, blush opal and opalescent mother of pearl, will underpin results that are delicate and dazzling.
Last, but by no means least, a lot of fun can be had with a mix-and-match approach to rainbow gemstone arrangements. As well as combining colours in an apparently irregular fashion, play with gem shape, cut and setting to create novel asymmetric arrangements and pretty patterns that are gratifyingly one-of-a-kind.