Magic Marketplace: AccessoriesTheShow and PoolTradeShow February 2014 Trend Review

Magic Marketplace: AccessoriesTheShow and PoolTradeShow February 2014 Trend Review
by Tom Triplett, Content Development Manager, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

The excitement began early Monday morning on February 17th. Vendors from all over the country and around the world were set up to begin selling their accessories and fashion lines. Their customers were lined up and waiting at the door to see what was happening in their industry, and were ready to start buying for their own businesses.

The crowds were larger than the last couple of seasons and even Accessories: The Show looked larger with more vendors. The mood was very upbeat and positive and orders were definitely being written. The Fire Mountain team was there for three full days, Monday through Wednesday, searching for trend information on colors, accessories types and upcoming fashion styles. In that time we attended 8 full shows, taking notes and putting the following information together for our use as well as yours.

Observations:
  • The first thing we observed was that attendance was up compared to recent seasons
  • The Accessories show seemed much larger than the size of the show last season, however the other shows associated with Accessories (Stitch, MRKET) were about the same size as usual
  • Magic was also the same size as last season, utilizing all the space in the Las Vegas Convention center
  • The Pool show, Magic Women and Magic Men, ENKVegas were the same size as last season, however the Tents show was pared down to 1 tent
  • Mostly the same vendors and products were at the Pool show as in previous seasons. Made up of jewelry-making vendors selling their handmade jewelry, trendy accessories like belts and handbags, and jewelry focused on younger markets.
  • Magic Women and Magic Men were 2 separate shows featuring mostly garments
Jewelry:
  • Jewelry was not so much into bling. The designs were more subdued yet very colorful.
  • We saw a welcome return to gemstones such as rose quartz, yellow quartz, tiger eye, many varieties of jaspers, clear quartz, coral, and of course turquoise. There were also druzy stones in multiple colors adding a bit of natural bling.
  • Base metals seemed to take the lead in the metal jewelry components area. The popular base metals included antique copper, bronze, brass and some stainless steel. Of course there were still plenty of silver (plated and sterling) and gold (vermeil, plated and filled). It looks like the popularity of gold still ruled over silver, however silver seems to be coming back.
  • Many popular shapes like crosses, round and oval rings, and figure eights were cut out of sheet metals and incorporated in the designs. These looked great as pendants, drops, sew on embellishments, and add on components to bracelets and necklaces, especially on leather straps or attached to chain. Shapes and trends that are still out there:
    • Skulls
    • Butterflies
    • Roses
    • Flowers
    • Triangles
    • Neon
  • Some leather was being used, mostly straps used for making bracelets, wrapped bracelets and necklaces. We saw leather straps and cord being used in all colors including neon.
    • There were some cold connection techniques being used with leather. Metallic flat backs, spikes and daggers were used to embellish the leather straps.
  • Small chain in multiple colors, including primary colors, was being used in bracelets, necklaces and decorative tassels. More is better in the number of chain strands being used for the designs.
  • The popular necklace styles seemed to be bibs, medallion-style pendants (many made with glass, rhinestones or acrylics) on chain or cord, chokers (especially made with spikes, daggers and gun-shell casing components), multi-strand designs using small chain or chord, 10 to 20 strands at a time; some the same length, others in multi-length strands
  • Jewelry styles for the younger crowd seems to be more simple and crafty such as single strand chains with simple hand-made pendants using wrapped wire or steampunk designs; watch parts as focals or links, or mixed with other mediums like two part resin; and simple chainmaille designs
  • Many pendants were made using Apoxie® Sculpt type adhesives, creating stone settings from pave' style to built-up fancy stones. Fans and gemstones are back as pendants or focals as well.
  • Jewelry made with gun shell casings seem to be popping up on the fashion scene
  • Stack bracelets are still popular: random bracelet styles and material types go together as far up the arm as you want
  • Necklace lengths are anywhere from 18 inches to waist long
  • Silk and shiny straight thread tassels in many colors, made in the basic style with the knot at top and wrapped just under the knot
  • Rings were still cocktail types, not much change in styles. Stretch, adjustable and solid bands.
Colors:
Colors ran on the dark side for women. Men's colors were brighter and bolder. All colors were represented, however the dominant colors were:
  • Black
  • Dusty orange/pink
  • Dark grey (black on grey)
  • Antique white
  • Dark yellow (mustard hues)
  • Dark reds
  • Turquoise
  • Mint green
Fashion:
The upcoming style trend that I was most excited about is the 1950s-influenced retro look. Stylish knee-length dresses with wide lapels and square shoulders, full skirts (ala: poodle-skirt style) and sleeveless sun dresses. This was truly an elegant era that appreciated great fashion designs with well fitted garments that truly flattered the wearer. Also antique lace type dresses were very popular, reminiscent of the fabrics your grandmother (or for many of you, your great grandmother, lol) used for her fancy parlor curtains. Styles were mostly loose and layered, comfortable yet flattering. The more formal dresses were often form fitting.

Shoes: I'd like to add just a separate short note about the shoe industry. This was where all of the bling lived in all the shows. Dress shoe styles are still largely platforms with 6 or 7 inch heels. The platforms of the shoes were bejeweled with crystal flatbacks of all colors in fun patterns, along with colorful cup chains, large rhinestones and metallic flatbacks and spikes. The heels of the shoes were embellished with flatbacks, and even metal filigree components bent to fit around the heel. It's really time to get creative with footwear!

It truly was a great show for seeing what's really happening in the industry. I hope that sharing this information with you will be a help in making good choices for you in your jewelry making endeavors. Don't forget to check out the fashion trend pages on the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads website as well for more great jewelry and color trends information to let your creativity run wild.

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