Millennials and the merging of polarities – the attraction of complementary opposites – is driving jewellery trends for 2017.
In its latest Gem Visions Trend Directions 2017, Swarovski claims that millennials are driving jewellery trends through their philosophy of merging polarities, such as art vs science, natural vs manmade, young vs old, antique vs avant-garde and even the real vs the virtual.
This philosophy, according to Swarovski, is creating new found concepts and categories in the jewellery industry.
The report said: “Confident and all embracing with a strong desire for a positive work-life balance, these new consumers feel free to accommodate and actually play with the extremes and contradictions that life throws at them.
“Their growing purchasing power demands that the jewelry market responds by offering jewellery that is fresh, vibrant and above all daring.”
The company has pointed out four ‘major trend directions’ for 2017, with the first being the ‘existence’ trend.
The ‘existence’ trend celebrates life on earth and sees jewellery inspiration come from the natural world, including dramatic landscapes, extinct animals, fossils. Materials include agates, grey dendritic diamonds, moonstones, amber, coral, pearl, lava stone, bone, fossils, and shells.
The second trend is ‘Haute gems’ – a focus on gems of “exceptional brilliance and beauty, intense colour and stunning craftsmanship”.
Easy-trans-form is the third trend, and according to Swarovski is one of the most “significant shifts” in fine jewellery.
This is the desire for versatility in jewellery, for pieces that “adapt and transform”. This includes jewellery that can express changing moods and styles, using materials such as high-tech ceramics, transparent and translucent materials, dichromatic stones like ametrine, iridescent materials or gems with shifting light and colour.
According to Swarovski, the fourth trend is ‘self art’ – a new approach to self-expression through jewellery. This is a nod to handmade and sustainable jewellery, with some designers using vintage and ritualistic jewellery, pop art, surrealism and modern music as inspiration.
The report added man-made products are being celebrated, opening the way for the inclusion of an increasingly broad range of materials such as synthetic diamonds, vibrantly colour cubic zirconias, acrylic, resin, corian and composite materials and 3D printing materials.
Faceted howlite (naturally coloured or dyed), turquoise, black diamonds, brown diamonds, lapis lazuli, brilliant lacquers, enamels, crystals and chains are also becoming increasingly popular.
Meanwhile, Swarovski said new styles of settings have been seen to disappear, so that little or no metal is visible. It said silver and rose gold are popular metals, along with black gold, brown gold and green gold.
The report said: “A bold, vivid palette with black as a strong graphic accent comes into play along with a range of arty pastels. There is a strong emphasis on blues, especially lapis, and on shades of camel and caramel.
“Stones are being set free of constraints to dangle loosely from a bracelet, necklace or earring. Briolettes, drop-shapes, petal-shapes, carved stones and candy-like cabochons are also perfectly at home in this theme.”