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NEW YORK — The tough jewelry that reigned the past few seasons took a backseat to more feminine offerings at last week’s Accessorie Circuit trade show.

This story first appeared in the May 9, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

More than 600 exhibitors — including Alexis Bittar, Amrita Singh, Botkier, By Boe, Cleo & Kat, Double Happiness by Stephanie Wells, Elizabeth Cole Jewelry, Jessica Kagan Cushman, Kendra Scott, Lee Angel, Noir, Paige Novick and Rachel Leigh — partook in the ENK International-produced show, which ran from May 2 to May 4 at The Show Piers.

“I am always excited to walk the show on the first day. This season, I saw a lot of stones in purple, brown, white and blue color ways, rock ’n’ roll spikes and rose gold. I also noticed bright neon in a lot of the collections, which is amongst my personal favorites,” said Elyse Kroll, ENK’s chairman.

While spikes, daggers and other rock ’n’ roll elements were present in many of the collections, the edgy trend has definitely given way to more delicate pieces for the fall, including an abundance of colorful agate and semiprecious stones, neon accents, winter whites, and, of course, royal wedding inspirations.

“There were pockets of energy where the product was right. There was a direction. The key for designers is creating a signature look that carries you from day into night so the customer builds ‘asset value’ through multiple wearings. Little drop necklaces always sell well, and the customers are gravitating toward semiprecious and color,” said Janet Goldman, chief executive officer of Fragments, the 26-year-old firm that represents Gemma Redux, LK Designs, Miguel Ases, Nugaard, Coralia Leets and Isharya.

Goldman said higher end specialty stores are buying Coralia Leets’ collection of resin, semiprecious and moonstone pieces, which retails from $93 for a mini hoop earring, to merchandise alongside fine jewelry. “Anything goes today in the specialty stores. My old motto of ‘offering something for everyone at various price points without compromising the integrity of your taste’ is holding true,” she added.

Iris Apfel, an attendee at the three-day event, counted Bittar and fine jewelry designer Iradj Moini — whose pieces have been exhibited at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre — as standouts and “great” booths at the show. Another favorite of the fashion icon was handbag line Sequoia Paris.

Designer Rachel Leigh, who described her Kate Middleton-inspired fall collection as “appropriate for a duchess, but edgier,” used sandblasted Swarovski crystals, resin, freshwater pearls and 14-karat gold plating for a selection of earrings, cuffs and oversize rings. Her pieces range in price from $96 for a resin ring to $298, retail, for an adorned multistone bib.

Elizabeth Cole, of six-year-old line Elizabeth Cole Jewelry, said ready-to-wear labels such as Lanvin, Chanel and Marchesa encouraged her to infuse a floral element into her collection, but winter white was a major theme of her fall offerings. The same went for designer Rachel Dooley, of Gemma Redux — although she translated the trend in her own way through a heavily Art Deco-inspired lens, accenting her pieces with lapis and malachite.

“I love white juxtaposed with gray or slate — but not necessarily black — because it softens it and gives it a less stark edge. And there’s also something about white that just brightens you,” said designer Paige Novick, whose gunmetal and white howlite cuffs, chokers and pendant necklaces, which retails from $425 to $475, will be available at Bergdorf Goodman and

LK Designs and Noir weren’t afraid to experiment with neon — and as part of the latter’s fall collection, a selection of feather-centric necklaces, bracelets and earrings, retailing for $60 to $245, all had pops of neon feathers to complement the almost entirely black matte plated range.


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