Rapaport Magazine

Stack and Layer

Layering and stacking pieces topped the trend list for designers at the New York NOW show.

By Amber Michelle
Layering, opaque diamonds, rose cut diamonds and blackened metals continue to be some of the most popular trends with designers exhibiting at the New York NOW show held at Javits Center in early February. It is a show that has become a destination for the more significant boutique and gallery stores that sell design-oriented jewelry along with other gift items. And according to vendors, the caliber of the buyers has picked up over the past couple of years.
   Several jewelry designers exhibiting at the show were creating small stacking rings and layering necklaces using baguette solitaires, with the most directional being set east-west. “Stackers are an easy add-on gift,” notes designer Suzy Landa of the eponymous New York City–based firm. “You already know that someone likes that style, so you just continue with it.”
   “Lockets are picking up steam,” points out Emily Keifer, designer for Emily Keifer Fine Jewels in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “They’re traditional, but they never go out of style and they are good for layering with other necklaces. Layering bracelets so that you have a big stack is a big trend.”
   In for the show from Houston, Texas, ila&i introduced stacking rings featuring a single baguette or tapered baguette with both north-south and east-west orientations. The rings could be mixed and matched according to the imagination of the person wearing the jewelry. Jamie Joseph from Seattle, Washington, known for its collection of colored gemstone rings with a diamond birthmark embedded in the gem, also debuted stacking rings. Featuring fancy shape diamonds, the rings could be bridal or fashion. “The idea is to get a big stack over time,” says Naomi Hoang, director of operations.

A Slice
   Slices and opaque diamonds remain strong as well. “Opaque diamonds and slices are still strong as alternative bridal in lifestyle stores,” says Jennifer Dawes of Dawes Design, Santa Rosa, California. Dawes started her collection with geometric stackable rings and has expanded into bridal featuring rose cuts and opaque diamonds as well as other jewelry.
   Organic shapes with a natural feeling that is understated is a popular style with Millennials and several designers highlighted jewelry with that voice. Craven Iteri by Karyn Craven is one of them. The Los Angeles–based designer creates jewelry that is inspired by her travels, especially to Bali. She is also influenced by Roman armor, Japanese gift wrap and Sacred Geometry for what is described by Brooklyn-based freelance merchandiser Michael Masella as a combination of ancient design and global warrior with a contemporary feel. Craven works with black or gray diamonds to create pieces that are subtle but expressive.
   Variance Objects, from Santa Cruz, California, features organic gemstones accented with diamonds. “I think of diamonds in the Victorian sense, as accents. We cut a lot of our own colored gems. I like a diamond to sparkle next to a big rough rock, a stone that is really saturated in color, or that has an unusual shape,” explains designer Nicole Rimedio, of the one-of-a-kind pieces, many of which are meant to be layered or stacked.

In the Black
   Prerna Sethi of San Francisco–based Mayson, a collection of silver, colored gemstone and diamond-accented jewelry, observes that layering continues to be a key trend. “We had a good response to rose gold and black silver,” she reports. “Moonstones are still popular. Blues, greens and purple are still important. The marquise shape in an east-west orientation is a favorite, perhaps as a nod to the evil eye.”
   Blackened silver was also a top seller for Emanuela Duca, who gives the dark metal a crinkly texture and mixes it with a pop of gold and diamond accents. “People like black metal. It has a mystery to it, a sense of something special that is not completely revealed,” comments the New York City–based designer, “and it works well with texture.”
   Robin Haley, designer for the firm bearing her name in Nashville, Tennessee, found her large blackened silver link bracelets to be best sellers, along with her Artifacts collection of blackened charms. She believes that it appeals to men as well as women. She also cites opaque diamond rings as favorites of buyers.
   Over at Santa Fe, New Mexico–based Somers, a collection of silver jewelry inspired by the sculptures of Somers Randolph, each piece has a story to tell. “The buyer is looking for something with a story that resonates with people, something that is more than just a pretty thing,” says Hillary Randolph.
   Textured gold accented with diamonds, colored gemstone slices and beads were the hot items at Barbara Heinrich Studio. Tanzanite was a best seller for the Pittsford, New York, designer, who finds that yellow gold is on the upswing and black diamonds are selling strongly, in part due to their popular price point.
   “This show is capturing a new way of seeing designers,” concludes Adel Chefridi, designer for his company of the same name based out of Woodstock, New York. “The jewelry here is not just about the commodities and the way it is done. Those things are important, but only in the context of the modern woman who wears it. The jewelry has to show who she is in this world every day and it has to work with her lifestyle. It has to work in that spirit.”

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - March 2015. To subscribe click here.

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