Rapaport Magazine

Fabulous for Fall

The nonprofit Future Brilliance is developing a jewelry-making industry in Afghanistan to promote workforce development for stability in a country that is isolationist by nature and that has been beleaguered by war.

By Amber Michelle
Anything goes is the mantra for the fall/winter 2014/2015 season, which promises to be an eclectic one for fashion. Texture is top of the trend list with knits, tweeds, embroidery, fringe, feathers and jewels decorating fabrics. There’s a big dose of inspiration from the 1970s with intarsia, longer lengths, ethnic influences and large patterns taking center stage. On the flip side, there is a pared-down minimalist sensibility that favors monochromatic black or white. Gray in all its glorious hues takes on new importance, while those who choose color can go with earthy tones or acid neons and electric brights borrowed from the 1960s. Loose is modern and an easy fit continues to look right as silhouettes swell to oversized and skirts are swingy or bouffant. Detailing is key to clothes, with buttons and zippers doing double duty as decorative elements along with elongated sleeves. Layers of different fabrics — often mismatched in one piece or as separates — create a contrast of textures that defines the moment.

   Bold jewelry works best with these styles. A vintage 1970s long, oversized gold chain with a dangling medallion accented with diamonds looks right with patterns, browns, greens and earth-based colors. It’s also a standout when worn against black or white. Engraved, hammered or etched surfaces on the gold as well as metal that is folded or architectural in form add another degree of visual interest that is so important to this season’s apparel.
   Big cuffs, especially in mixed media of two-tone metals sprinkled with diamonds or gemstones, add graphic appeal and hold their own with the generous proportions of winter clothes. One statement-making item may be all that is needed to complete an outfit and cuffs provide a canvas for the jewelry designer to create a uniquely wearable piece of art.
   On the upswing in popularity is rose or pink gold. The rich, warm color is flattering to all skin tones and mixes beautifully when worn with browns, citrus tones, pinks, reds, purples and greens. Understated and sophisticated, rose gold is beginning to replace blackened metals as a way to wear jewelry in a more subdued manner. And diamonds glow gently when set in rose gold. The neutral color also blends harmoniously with fabrics that flaunt a multicolored design, which is so prevalent in clothing right now.
   Pearls continue as an important gem in fashion, especially baroques and free-form natural shapes in lustrous colors. For casual looks, pearl stations on a leather or suede cord are favored. More dressy moments call for one large, unusual conversation-piece pearl hanging from a jumbo chain or decorated with tassels and diamonds; it’s fresh and modern. When worn against any of the soft hues of gray, pearls are particularly luminous.
   Autumn promises to be filled with color...lots of it. Colored gemstones are the answer for the kaleidoscope of clothes. You can match or contrast them to the tones in the fabric. Daring fashionistas may choose to wear mismatched earrings in different colored gems in each ear, or a dangle on one side and a solitaire on the other. Add a pop of lively color to the season’s favorite black, white or grays that reflects a personal preference.
Fall /winter fashion is an eclectic fusion of perspectives from different cultures, eras, music and art. It’s a new time, when quirky rules and anything goes as long as it reflects a point of view.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - September 2014. To subscribe click here.

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