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Spring and Summer 2006 Fashion Forecast
For the moderately priced jewelry market, we continue to see a dominance by organic themes. Shell, wood and pearls are sure to continue to be strong all the way through this summer, so don't be shy when placing order because this one's got legs. Look for bigger, chunkier, and even gaudy styles that make a statement.

Beyond these general classifications, there are specifics to be on the lookout for. Discs and naturally shaped pendants and charms with symbols or sayings are hot. The ring shape as a pendant, with or without engraving is everywhere. There are lots of horseshoes to tie into the trendy Western accessories theme of cowboy hats, and briolette shaped gemstones done in multiples as pendants or earrings.

Important sub-themes going forward are tassels, long, chunky chain, layered necklaces, crochet and macramÈ, and believe it or not, nautical themes like anchors. The mix is a combination of 80's glitz and early 70's hippie that works sometimes but often comes together in a look that will make many ask "what was I thinking" in about 5 years.

Crochet beads and frayed ribbon accents on necklaces and bracelets add a soft and ladylike look when done cleanly. Multiple necklaces work nicely as long as it doesn't end up looking like a prosthetic device. The engraved saying is something that is simple but lends a touch of soulful detail. Look for this as a strong undercurrent at indiasilver.com after January. We have been working on our own original designs.

Honestly, a lot of the designs I've seen going forward, including the whole anchor thing, are a bit much. Some designers are showing necklaces that look like the result of a 70's craft class gone horribly wrong. Without pointing too many fingers, trendsetters like Robert Rose and R J Graziano are a bit overboard in their spring 2006 collections with gaudy gold anchor pendants and jumbled necklaces that look more like an ox yoke than an adornment.

On the other hand, companies like Stephan & Co., and Nine West seem to get it. They incorporate the trends like organic materials, or crochet bead necklaces with simplicity and tastefulness. Me and Ro especially showcase how nicely done the whole engraving theme can be done.

As for handbags, look for the trend toward larger bags to continue. Consumers seem to like the idea of a functional carryall. Metallics continue to be strong, as well as tassels, grommets, hardware and "purse charms." The hobo is the most popular shape now and into summer. Look for bucket and satchel shapes to gain in popularity. Vintage frames, beaded and sequin details, and Western leather styles all have a place going forward. There is no classification that encompasses the overall trend, rather it is a conglomeration of the bold-gaudy, the ladylike and dainty, and the hippy/bohemian look.

Again, beware of over-the-top styles with excessive hardware, tassels, etc. since these may tend to end up in the markdown bin when the wind blows a different way.

(This article written by Mike McGinnis and published originally on indiasilver.com. We allow republication provided the piece is copied in its entirety with links and attribution.)

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Updated 2/17/06
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