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​2018 Trends to Watch Out For


2018 trends watch for

The new year is upon us, bringing new, fantastic jewelry designs. Pantone's soothing hue greenery may have marked 2017, but the 2018 Color of the Year lets us know we're kicking everything off with a bang. Pantone's selection of the color ultra violet as Color of the Year reflects what we see on the runways: bold colors and bold statements.

The light was glinting off mixed metals, glimmering gems, and perfect pearls as the models strutted down the catwalk this year. Earrings were eye-catching, jewels were large, and colors were vibrant. This year, your customers are going to want to go big and go bright.

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Brilliant and Beautiful


Pantone's Color of the Year is ultra violet, a vivid purple guaranteed to make you look twice. According to Pantone's executive director Leatrice Eiseman, the shade, "communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us towards the future." She also says that ultra violet is, "dramatically provocative and thoughtful."

When further discussing the choice for this shade to be Color of the Year regarding fashion design, Eiseman simply states, "Designers and brands should feel empowered to use color to inspire and influence." This lets us know that this year, creativity is key when fashioning your amazing jewelry.

From a design standpoint, this means rather than the jewelry complementing the outfit, the outfit completes the jewelry. Earlier styles may have focused on understated or delicate pieces, but with accessories now taking center stage, it is time we change up our ideals.

When it comes to custom works especially, it is time to go by the adage of the bigger, the better. With neutral tones taking over for clothing, your clients are going to rely on their accessories to create striking couture.

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Drop it Low

Whether you prefer dangling teardrops, sculpted circles, or cascading gems, drop earrings have made their arrival. Not only does this design elongate the neck, but it also frames the face, providing a touch of glam wherever you go. Sophisticated or simple, casual or high-end, drop earrings will easily become a style staple for 2018.

Just remember that length is key, and the longer, the better. An appropriate size is imperative to emphasize the earrings and complete the outfit. Aim for the end of the earrings to either pass the top of the shoulder or graze the collarbone for a dramatic look.

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Size Matters

Since 2018 is the year to break molds, there is something for every DIYer. If you're not a fan of cascading creations, this season is also embracing eye-catching shapes and patterns.

Oversized earrings of all silhouettes and styles have been sashaying down runways across the globe. Elaborate touches, like flowers or oversized spirals, demand attention without saying a word.

Attention-getting textures, like hammered metals, rippled edging, or intricate patterns, will create a contemporary feel and add to the overall style of the piece. Pops of color heighten the drama, creating an attractive focal point. Using a contrast between colors and textures provides a high-end look guaranteed to catch the eye of a passerby.

wedding earrings female hand

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Delicious Bites

The inspiration for 2018 seems to be a desire to break free from preconceived notions and molds, which is reflected in the widespread use of tasty creations. Designers such as Dolce and Gabbana and Balenciaga unveiled accessories with fruit themes, like carrots or grapes.

This off-the-wall idea is perfect because it’s injecting a hint of whimsy into an otherwise sedate outfit. This allows a light-hearted, yet fashionable, reminder that personal style is a form of self-expression and does not always need to be serious.

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Into the Wild

With the increasing focus on nature that we have seen in the last few years, it is no surprise that flora and fauna have made it to the runway. Whether a flower in bloom, animal prints, or animalistic outlines, nature-based inflections are having their time in the spotlight. You cannot go wrong with giving nature a nod this season.

Focusing on natural elements, like wooden beads or natural cut stones, will provide a perfect focal point. Agates, rough-cut gems and minerals are an absolute must. Backdrops of leaf-like shapes, flowers, and animal silhouettes give a dash of individuality to help showcase the overall concept of natural wonder.

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Lovely Layers

Necklaces this year are divided into two categories: statement pieces and layering pieces. Small, delicate layering pieces are popping up in store fronts everywhere, thanks to some stunning concepts from Giambattista Valli.

While the necklaces are dainty, the design has an architectural element that gives a contemporary feel. To achieve the vibe, both thin and thick chains are being adorned with pendants of varying sizes and shapes, allowing the wearer an effortless beachy air.

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Strong Style

For those customers who prefer a bolder statement, oversized, or chunky necklaces are perfect. Large beads with architectural shapes instantly transform an outfit into something runway ready. Top designers are aiming for flare with large rough-cut stone pendants and wide metal collar-style necklaces.

large beads quote

2018 trend divider 8

Nouveau Brooch

Once upon a time, brooches were considered a standard accessory that was the height of fashion. Alas, since fashion ebbs and flows, use of these fun additions fell by the wayside. Thankfully, 2018 has returned the brooch to its former glory, and then some.

Flowers, circles, and fanciful concoctions will be adorning the front of jackets and dresses all year long. This simple addition gives instant opulence to any ensemble. Precious metals, pearls, and gemstones are what customers are going to be searching for, so make sure you have a variety in stock.

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Charm Your Clients

It’s already apparent that 2018 is a year striving to let individuals express themselves in any way possible. Nothing quite says, "this is me" like a charm necklace. While it has taken some time to shift from a quirky accessory to en vogue, it has reached its destination.

Buyers will be looking for one-of-a-kind pieces that will tell the world about them with flair. Make sure to have chains in a variety of lengths and widths decked out with these charms, so consumers have a wide selection to layer. You can also make mini collections of 2-3 necklaces that complement each other to market as a set.

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Clear Skies Ahead

Fashion is all about balance, and while most of the pieces we are seeing contain vibrant colors, one trend that stands out is crystal clear. Lucite beads, blown glass, diamonds, and zircon are guaranteed hits this season.

By using a combination of asymmetrical Lucite, glass, or plastic paired with the glimmer of the gems, you create a stunning item that can quite literally pair with anything. Modern, simple, and elegant clear crystals are a perfect accent to any design.

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Pearly White

hand holding pearls tulip bouquet

Pearls are getting a punk-rock makeover. Heavy chains and hammered metal give this wardrobe staple a new life. This jaw-dropping blend of textures is visually stunning.

The darker tones of the metallic finish perfectly offsets the freshwater pearls, making them seem to glow from within. The contrast is striking in the very best way.

Including different tones and finishes to the metalwork will help make trendsetting pieces that elevate any outfit.

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Bright Now

The colors this season are bright and varied, which perfectly complement the neutral tones in the clothes that have been traveling down the runways. Laurie Pressman stated, "Color continues to be a powerhouse and a key influencer of fashion trends," which was perfectly reflected in upcoming collections.

Eye-catching, vibrant shades give otherwise sedate outfits the perfect pop of color. Incorporating a variety of colors will not only create a stunning piece but be versatile as well. Incorporating Pantone's Top 12 colors for 2018 into your jewelry pieces will ensure every outfit has the perfect balance of style and flair.

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Perfectly Rosy

No matter the shade, pink is one color that always gives the wearer an effortless elegance. Representing compassion, nurturing, and love, it's no surprise this flirty shade is taking over. 

pink pearls rose quartz quote

Pink is also proving to be one of the hottest shades in 2018. With favored tones ranging from soft pastel to an edgy, vibrant hue, there is no end to the creative options for DIY jewelry.

Mauve is light and airy, with an effortless and feminine feel. This barely-there blush pink will add a touch of grace to any outfit.

Incorporating this tone into a silver piece will create an ethereal quality that will suit outfits for work or play. Adding pink pearls or rose quartz will elevate your piece and give it a timeless style with a touch of sparkle.

Whether you grew up in the 1980s, or simply love the style, bright rosy pinks are guaranteed to make you smile. Hot pinks, like Pantone's shade rapture rose, give a flirty vibe, exuding confidence and creativity.

This perky pink is just the right shade for anything from a chunky bead bracelet, to a delicate pair of chandelier earrings. Pep up your piece by incorporating gems like pink tourmaline beads, pink chalcedony, or pink zircon.

Lavender-pinks and deeper rose tones are versatile shades that can work well with an assortment of beads and textures. The understated shades are bright enough to be noticeable, but not in a manner that would overpower the piece. African kunzite, lavender-pink spinel, and pink rhodonite stones can instantly transform any design into a fashion-forward creation.

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Back to the Basics

Primary colors are also on target to be “hits” throughout the next 12 months. Le Vian jewelers are predicting red, white, and blue to be the top color schemes for accessories and gems. This is further supported by Pantone, who have both red and blue in their Top 12.

White, while it didn't quite make it into the Top 12, is receiving an honorable mention in the classic color palette. Add in a bright, sunny yellow to their predicted palette, and you have a winning combination of colors that will put you a cut above the rest.

Each of these shades is bold enough to hold its own, yet can be easily intermingled with other colors and textures to represent your individualism perfectly. These shades can suit any outfit or occasion effortlessly. Using dyed beads made from coral or bamboo will not only be on-trend, but the interesting shape will add an extra element to your design.

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Splendid Sapphire

You’ll quickly find that 2018 will not be a season for soft, pale blues. When creating your signature pieces this year, your blues should stand out. As Pantone put it, your blues should "sparkle with energy."

Ceylon, blueberry, palace blue, cobalt, and sailor blue are popping up on runways worldwide. To capture this stirring shade, you'll want to focus on gems like sapphire, royal blue agate, or blue apatite.

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Red on the Horizon 

red garnet pendant earrings

Reds have been on-trend for years, and this year is no different. This classic color complements any skin tone and instantly makes any outfit have a romantic feel.

Historically representing energy and ambition, this shade gives you confidence in spades. Whether a neutral outfit or a colorful one, red can be readily paired with your attire.

Rough-cut stones and beads are a wonderful way to incorporate this iconic shade while still providing an edgy ambiance. For a smoother finish, banded agates give a lush color and exciting pattern all in one. If you'd like to add some glitz and glam, rubies and red garnets will make sure you sparkle all day long.

2018 trend divider 17

Not a Match

No two things are exactly alike. The belief that no one and nothing is perfect is shifting to the forefront and is widely represented in fashion. That ideal is supported this upcoming year in a subtle, or not so subtle, manner.

Mismatches are peppering the fashion world. This is the year to be daring, and that includes wearing your gems and jewels, however, and wherever, you please.

Final Thoughts

This upcoming season is going to be our most exciting yet. With the fashion designers giving traditional constructs a boot, there is no limit to the creativity we can achieve.

This season is all about individualism and self-love. The goal is to unleash your uniqueness on the world and just be yourself.

There are no expectations that items need be perfect and polished to be appealing. Rather embracing things as they come, natural, imperfect, and messy seems to be the message from the fashion hierarchy. Filling your jewelry box and closet with a bevy of articles to suit any mood, whether flirty or fun, will ensure you’re always in style.

This year, let loose, get those creative juices flowing and design wearable art that makes your soul sing.

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