By and  on November 15, 2004

NEW YORK — From vintage-inspired cuffs and costume brooches to cocktail rings and statement necklaces, jewelry has clearly taken its turn in the spotlight this fall. The glittering trend shows no signs of waning for the next spring and summer seasons, which vendors presented during the recent accessories market. Necklaces took center stage as designers showed multistrand styles of either delicate chains and charm pendants or big, brightly colored beads. Turquoise appeared across the board, from bracelets to button earrings, and often was paired with coral. Some vendors continued to include brooches in their spring lines, but others felt this fall’s craze for pins may be over come April. “Fall is the strongest season we’ve ever had,” said designer RJ Graziano. “Brooches and vintage looks are seeing insane sell-throughs at retail.” However, Graziano forecasted a decline in the brooch’s popularity for spring and an increased interest in layered necklaces, handbag charms and brightly colored raffia beads. “We love multiple necklaces that are new and fun. We’re also doing very well with button earrings because they’re different [from chandeliers].” Bold looks were key at Nine West and Judith Jack, both divisions of Jones Apparel Group. Nine West offered gold cuffs bedecked with large crystal stones, while Judith Jack offered cocktail-size dyed white jade stones propped in ornate silver settings. With jewelry riding on such a high, many handbag vendors have begun to incorporate it into their designs. Furla, among others, even went so literal as to attach costume brooches onto its bags. At Sharon G, leather clutches were adorned with dangling strands of carved colored crystals. “It’s a different twist to a charm,” designer Sharon Goie said. Other designs include vintage-inspired bags mixing heavy beading and floral tapestry. Miniature bags popped up at Sharon G, as well as at Louison and even Juicy Couture, a division of Liz Claiborne Inc., which shrunk three of its signature silhouettes. Juicy also introduced a higher-end line of evening bags and shoppers that included a satin clutch with stones affixed to the outside. While color continues to be present in showrooms across Manhattan, it seems to be taking a backseat in favor of embellishments like beading, embroidery and studs. Western motifs with whipstitching and rivet detail were seen at vendors such as Dooney & Bourke and Nine West.“I think now the hardware and embellishment is taking over from the color,” said Robert Rokoff, creative director of Maxx New York, which offered white, black and beige leather bags subtly adorned with clear crystals and metal studs. “Everything jeweled is now important,” he added. Designer Helen Welsh showed fedora hats with jewel-like detachable floral and butterfly pins, as well as a selection of mother-of-pearl key charms that adorn solid leather handbags. “The stores come in to look for items like purse charms,” Welsh noted. “It came down the fall runways in Europe. They [women] may not want to buy a new handbag, but if you just added a charm, you have at least updated your bag.”

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