Street Style - The Industrialist Meets the Naturalist

Design Idea C533
by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Good news--it's OK throw out the idea of moderation! Jewelry takes on a whole new direction as designers embrace extremes. This year's hottest jewelry styles are defined by juxtaposition: contrasting colors, materials and textures combined in unexpected ways. A showcase of opposites, a celebration of differences and a marriage of industrial and natural elements set the style stage. Think in terms of black/white, heavy/light, smooth/rough, real/faux, etc.

Morning birds and night owls become one in the same as daytime jewelry is worn with evening ensembles and sparkling over-the-top jewelry complements casual styles. Jewelry designs are all about "humble luxury"--innovative pairings of design elements for one-of-a-kind statements. Here are some ideas and product suggestions to incorporate this jewelry direction into wearable jewelry lines.


Create impact by using complementary color schemes. Combining colors opposite each other on the color wheel makes jewelry pop in dramatic ways. For example, pair orange with blue or yellow with purple. Find more color theory information and an illustrative color wheel for easy color design here.

The fashion runways are taking color to the extreme. There are pieces filled with every color of the rainbow and then on the other side of the spectrum there are completely crystal clear designs. Let the color (or lack thereof) do the talking. For example, create a delicate piece of jewelry shouting with vibrant colors or a quietly sophisticated large crystal-clear pendant. Play with color and scale for big-time jewelry statements.

Color blocking continues to remain popular and is brilliantly applied to metals. Mixed metal jewelry's versatility and edginess complements a wide range of looks and easily transitions from day to night. Make room for copper, antiqued metals, silver, gold or rose gold in the same piece and capture this on-trend statement.
Earrings with Peridot Cubic Zirconia Drops, Amethyst Faceted Gems and 14Kt Wrap-Tite® Gold Link Settings

Bracelet with Dione® Large-Hole Beads, Leather Bracelet and Sterling Silver Chain Unlikely materials and components come together in understated glamour. Leather cord meets marcasite and faceted stones or brilliant Crystal Passions® crystal, Dione® large-hole beads and shiny metal beads. Cultured freshwater pearl wrapped leather bracelets with Crystal Passions® crystal sew-on component button closures, are in high demand and add style to jeans, wedding and evening looks. Gemstone beads and Czech pressed glass beads are wire-wrapped, also known as "lashed," to leather or metal components with colored wire, such as Zebra Wire™. Mix Crystal Passions® crystal with gemstones and wood beads or colorful acrylic beads for non-traditional pairings.

Chains go from hardware to a softer look when coated, dipped or covered. Incorporate glass, nylon and plastic chain into designs for a contrasting effect with metal chain and Crystal Passions® crystal. Earn extra style points and sales this year for creativity and innovation in jewelry styles. Designers are adding quirky, playful and fun elements to jewelry such as embellished wine corks, zipper pulls, keys, clothespins, bubble wands and more. Take ordinary household items and turn them into extraordinary design elements with flat back crystals and wire-wrapped accents.

Starburst, spiral and blooming ring designs are all-a-sparkle with rhinestones and Crystal Passions® crystal, made with wire or Powercord® and spacer bars. These dressed-down cocktail style rings will brighten up the year and any outfit.


Incorporate texture into designs for an unexpected pop of style. Marble or magnesite gemstone beads mimic nature and add visual texture to jewelry designs. Oil spill inspired surfaces are prevalent, such as abalone or mother-of-pearl shell, giving dimension to any piece.

Combine dull and shiny or sparkly and flat metals for textural interest. Knot or braid cord, thread or leather for a three-dimensional design element.

Go to extremes this year and let the power of opposites be your inspiration for attractive and highly sought after style.

Design with ...
Lashed Wrap Bracelet with Antiqued Silver-Plated ''Pewter'' Charms, Cultured Freshwater Pearls and Antiqued Sterling Silver and Leather Button Clasp
Additional Resources: *** Information provided in this article is based on runway reports, industry tradeshows and trend reporting from the The Worth Global Style Network (WGSN), a leading online trend-analysis and research service.