IJL Trend Editor: The 2017 catwalk

As IJL Trend Editor this year, I curated the trends that shaped the catwalk shows at London jewellery trade show IJL in September. The four main jewellery trends and the bridal trend that I identified for the spring/summer 2018 season were: Chase the Rainbow, The Artisan, The Next Frontier, True Romance, and High Spirits (bridal).

Continue reading to find out about each trend in depth, see photos from the IJL catwalk shows and see a video of the catwalk.

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Innovation in jewellery craft brings us surreal colour statements. Bespoke alloys or rhodium plating can transform gold into shades of fuscia, green, purple or black, while heat transforms titanium into peacock hues to stand out from, or blend in with, gemstones. Coloured enamel and ceramics add accents or form the basis of designs, while bright leathers, feathers and silks create tactile flashes of colour.



As technology infiltrates every aspect of our lives, we have a new appreciation for traditional crafts. Centuries-old jewellery techniques including filigree, millegrain, gemstone carving, granulation and enamelling are a refreshing alternative to mass production. Jewels that appear to have been made by hand or personalised tap into consumers’ desire for experiences over purchases. Look too for jewels that mimic a couturier’s skills – metal that crumples like fabric or creates lace-like patterns; gems that evoke the lavish of brocade; pearl embellishments.



The future is now. Geometric lines, 3D printing, abstract shapes and pixelated patterns make for exciting jewels inspired by the virtual worlds we inhabit. Delicate lines of diamonds or precious metal can be used to create cage shapes, spheres, open silhouettes. Jewellery embedded with tech gives us a glimpse into the future. Yet this trend has a retro side too, with romanticised 1960s-inspired visions of space exploration translated into heavy silver designs, glittering finishes, collars and cuffs, hoop earrings, celestial motifs, metallic spheres, Perspex and acrylics, and galactic gemstones like opals.



Ladylike styles are once again back in vogue with soft colour palates, elegant cuts and sophisticated styles that echo timeless glamour. Create sugary colourways with pretty pastel gemstones such as kunzite, rose quartz, morganite, pale amethyst, chalcedony and coral. Pearls of all shades are key to this trend, presented in modern styles as the hero of the design. Diamonds should be kept light in simple line bracelets, dotted on long chains or micro-set to create minimalist open silhouettes and fluid shapes. Botanical and floral motifs add some refined drama.



Next year’s bridal trends ooze confidence and exuberance. Dramatic bell sleeves on dresses, capes and off-the-shoulder styles bring a sense of playfulness and modernity to the wedding party, while sheer mesh with lace details in strategic places and deep V necklines and backs give dresses a sexy edge. Statement earrings or chokers work well with bare necklines, as well as the season’s other big trend for minimalist dresses, while lustrous bright pearls perfectly illuminate the new alternative nude palate. Florals, embellishment, glamour, maximalism – this is going to be one fun wedding.




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