KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
Color has come to dominate the fashion scene in recent seasons. Who ever imagined wearing lilac, baby blue and acres of pink in the dead of winter?
The same phenomenon has hit fine jewelry. Color has been increasingly popular in stones such as tourmaline, amethyst and pale sapphire. Now new rainbow hues are also reflected in pearls. Make way for pink, coral, pale green and bronze, the shades to cast all the more glow on a woman's complexion.
"I think people want to wear what flatters them," says Katy Briggs, director of marketing for Tivol, a Kansas City, Mo., jewelry store, where multicolored freshwater-pearl necklaces glimmer next to traditional ivory pearls and diamonds.
Other trends in jewelry include the return of yellow gold after a long run in platinum and silver.
And say good-bye to chandelier earrings. The new luxury diamond look is a long, thin line, perhaps with a curve at the bottom. It is likely to be the prevailing style on the red carpet at the awards shows, says Tivol merchandising executive Ward Manes.
As for sales, the tip-top end and the lower rung of the jewelry market are holding strong. The middle price ground is the weakest, Briggs and Manes agree. The Tivol perspective is in line with market researchers who report that in all categories consumers are cutting back on spending where they can by shopping discount stores so they can splurge on things they want.