One of the measures of the finest, most exquisite pieces of jewellery is that they stand the test of the time and prove their enduring appeal through the ages. And yet, at the same time, when it comes to buying jewellery, there is no doubt that the allure of the new and original can be irresistibly compelling, perhaps a twist on a classic style or something altogether more innovative.
Which is why Swarovski’s annual release of its Trend Directions Book is an impatiently awaited moment in the jewellery industry, indicating emerging (or indeed established) trends in the sector. This year’s book, Gem Visions 2016, is no different. Entitled “Then, Now, Next”, it takes inspiration from the changing, evolving times to offer insight into the gemstones, textures, colours and prints Swarovski expects to dominate the year ahead.
In this latest blog post, we sum up Gem Visions’ eight cultural ‘megatrends’ and the four ‘directional themes’ that celebrate the past, the present and the future to give you inspiration for the year ahead.
- Modern Day Artisans – This trend considers the innovative technologies, such as 3D printing and Computer Aided Design, that are now available and are beginning to be incorporated into jewellery design and creation. The trend also recognises, however, that even though human involvement is no longer necessary, the combination of traditional handcraftsmanship and technology is more precious than technology alone.
- Schooling – The transmission of knowledge and know-how from generation to generation, from master to apprentice. This trend focuses on what the amateur can learn from the master, and how, by acknowledging the methods of the past, we can influence and improve jewellery design and creation in the future.
- Jewellery as Art – Today, art can be much more than paintings in an art gallery. Art can now be worn and enjoyed in the form of jewellery.
- New Retail Environments – Gone are the days where fantastic jewels would be showcased in stuffy, dull rooms. Purchasing environments double as galleries and spectacular showrooms. Some retailers have gone so far as to hold parties and stage pop-up restaurants to show off their collections.
- Wearable Technology – Following the recent introduction of, for example, the Apple iWatch, technology is now becoming wearable. Swarovski predict that gadgets will become aesthetic jewels and fashion accessories, designed to be aesthetically pleasing, rather than simply functional.
- Mindful Living – This trend focuses on looking inward and thoughtfully connecting with the things in our environment. Swarovski encourages recapturing the awe our ancestors felt towards the gemstone, and consider the magic and ancient therapeutic powers that they believed they hold.
- Gathering Together – Whether it is the young realising that they can learn valuable lessons from their elders, or if it is the coming together of friends, family and neighbours, this trend encourages physical, rather than virtual, connectedness.
- New Ethics – The New Ethics trend encourages corporate social responsibility and the ethical sourcing of our luxuries, including our treasured jewels, and urges us to consider the wellbeing of those who make them.
Along with these megatrends, Swarovski forecast four themes that will influence jewellery design for 2016:
- Magic – Pieces in this theme comprise designs that blur the lines between reality and illusion, and view artists and designers as master magicians. Colours include various shades of blue, as well as lilac and white. Reflective materials and mirrored surfaces produce perceptions of infinite depth and suspension, and the suggestion that magic really does exist.
- Eternity – Eternity celebrates the classic, ageless designs and shapes, such as infinity symbols and love knots. They are updated to suit modern tastes while maintaining the mastery of traditional craftsmanship. Warm colours are combined with electric blue and brilliant oranges and greens to create timeless designs to be cherished for generations to come.
- Body Art – Body art explores the relationship between jewellery and the human form, discovering new spaces on the skin for jewels. Think of body chains, ear cuffs and for the more daring out there, upper arm bangles that mimic tattoos. These pieces are designed to flatter the skin, coming in light pink, amethyst and turquoise.
- Radical Craft – Technologies of the future, such as 3D printing and robotics, are now being used to create jewellery, and as such the designs have a strong engineering orientation. Greys and khakis are complemented and softened by oranges and pinks, and are seen on chunky chains and large, angular pieces.
So, what does 2016 have in store for you? Whether you take inspiration from Swarovski’s Gem Visions or you prefer a more traditional approach, you can rest assured knowing that Assetsure’s Jewellery Insurance covers the financial worth of your personal treasure, so that, even if the worst should happen, you have cover you can rely on.