By Deborah Yonick, jewelry style expert
Colors for Spring 2014, as proclaimed by the Pantone Color Institute during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City, represent a colorful balance of soft pastels and vivid brights that are familiar yet versatile.
Inspired by a mixture of blooming flowers, travels abroad and strong, confident women, the palette’s top 10 include a vibrant Dazzling Blue and Radiant Orchid, 2014 Color of the Year; very adaptable pastels in Placid Blue, Violet Tulip and Hemlock Green; vivid brights in Cayenne Red, Yellow Freesia, and Celosia Orange; and dependable neutrals in Sand and silvery Paloma.
“While the need for stability is reflected in the composition of the palette, the inherent versatility of the individual colors allows for experimentation with new looks and color combinations,” defines Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “It’s not so much about the individual colors but how they’re combined. That’s where you create the interest. Designers use color to refresh, revive and defy conventional wisdom.”
Dazzling Blue and Radiant Orchid pair well across the palette, cites Eiseman. “They’re perfect companions to pastels, and add confidence and vivacity when mixed with other bold colors.” She notes that the pastels (Placid Blue, Violet Tulip and Hemlock Green) can be creatively mixed with any other color because we’re used to seeing them as nature’s background. Moreover, the vivid brights (Cayenne, Freesia, and Celosia) work with each other, the pastels, and the neutrals (Sand and Paloma) that also make great standalone hues.
Accessorizing in Color
Eiseman hails jewelry as the best way to add color to a wardrobe. “With the plethora of elements used in jewelry, all of these colors are available—in gemstones, metals, and other non-precious materials. In design, it’s all about context.”
Color Craft has its gem-set jewelry lines keyed into the Pantone colors. “We capture specific Pantone shades every season in our coated topaz, quartz and drusy agate,” says Todd Wolleman for the New York City-based, AGTA-Member brand. We’re excited about Radiant Orchid for 2014, which we’ve represented in ‘Pure Pink’ coated topaz.” But he expects other gems in the Orchid tones to be popular like amethyst, rhodolite, rubellite and pink tourmaline.
Wolleman also sees continued demand for emerald, 2013 Color of the Year; and he believes Dazzling Blue signals sapphire will cycle next. He says the Pantone palette reflects our genetic predisposition to colors found in nature.
Tracking color and fashion trends, LeVian, an AGTA Member brand, forecasts fiery reds and baby and berry blues big, a continuation of many shades of green, and chocolate quartz rising to be top gem of the year, with rose gold as metal color of the year. LeVian expects several design directions to take center stage in 2014, including links, knots, swirls and wraps; intricate, dimensional weave patterns; and clusters of floral bouquets.
It’s in the Mix
Colored gemstones not only complement fashion they transcend it, advocates Cynthia Marcusson of Cynthia Renee, AGTA Spectrum Award™-winning designer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “Interesting and profound color combinations add structure and texture—the difference between elevator music and a symphony. And, it’s not just how colors blend in jewelry design, but also how jewelry designs layer with fashion.”
Niveet Nagpal for the AGTA Member brand, Omi Privé, Los Angeles, says he takes into consideration the personality of the stone's color, as well as the personality of the woman who will wear the design. “Each stone dictates to me what the design will become. Reds associate with love, warmth, excitement and passion. Blues evoke feelings of power, professionalism, trustworthiness and calmness. Greens remind people of nature, life and money. Oranges bring feelings of affordability, creativity, fun and youth, while purples conjure royalty, luxury, fantasy and dreams. All of these combined create the perfect colorful piece!"
The line-up this season inspires designers to mix colors bravely, describes Erica Courtney, AGTA Spectrum Award™-winning designer in Los Angeles. “It screams tanzanite, which comes in every shade of blue on the palette and partners great with Radiant Orchid. Color-change Turkish diaspore is an especially great spring gem because it encompasses the colors of Sand, Hemlock and Cayenne all in one, with flashes of Freesia, Celosia and Orchid.” She also cites gems like mandarin garnet, golden beryl and deep kunzite important in the spring mix.
Describing the palette’s versatility, Paula Crevoshay, an AGTA Spectrum Award™-winning designer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, says many of the colors can be sassy and sexy depending on how they’re used, while others are soft and feminine. “Lately, I’m obsessed with pairing gems of opposite spectral colors like Placid Blue (blue zircon, topaz, and different opals) with chocolate color gems like pearls and diamonds. I also adore orange, which has been a strong color for me in vivid, intense gems like sunstone, spessartite garnet and fire opal that I add gems like amethyst, rubellite and tanzanite.”
Best friend to the little black dress, accessories, especially jewelry, have been the driving force in fashion, hails Bellarri Adleman, AGTA Spectrum Award™-winning designer in Scottsdale, Arizona. She predicts muted colors will be strong in 2014, leaning toward blues and greens, and chili pepper red will be most popular.
“I’m doing more with gems in this color, desperately trying to source stones like red agate and rhodolite garnet.” She enjoys mixing gems in various shades of a color in an ombré effect. Among her best big-bang-for-the-buck gems: London blue Topaz, smoky and champagne quartz, and amethyst in larger sizes and fancy cuts.
A great runway case in how jewelry works with fashion was seen in the Katya Leonovich show, adorned by Alex Soldier, AGTA Spectrum Award™-winning designer in New York. Jewelry chosen for the show either popped color or layered it with such pieces as necklaces from Soldier’s Meteorite collection, signature snail rings, and pins from the Coronaria collection set with gems like blue topaz, citrine, cinnamon quartz and aqua chalcedony. Light color baroque pearl necklaces were also strong. “Pieces were chosen for their unusual shapes and textures that complemented the rich textures and colors of Leonovich’s collection,” tells Maria Soldier, the brand’s executive director.