American Gem Trade AssociationAdd More Color To Your Life

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By Deborah Yonick, jewelry style expert

Flaunting your warm weather wear while whisking off on Summer vacation, it’s hard to believe that Fall is right around the corner. But don’t worry escapism doesn’t have to end with the turning leaves. Fall’s fashion inspirations will transport you to an enchanted place of fantasy and illusion, cleverly manipulating reality with unexpected blends of brights, darks and neutrals.

The season’s palette plays to our practical side with versatile neutrals and soothing muted tones, while boosting our confidence with bold, spirited hues. “There’s something for everyone,” highlights Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

Top Fall neutrals include rich, robust French Roast, a tasty, sophisticated alternative to black and charcoal basics; elegant and versatile Titanium, the quintessential cool gray; and the veiled Rose Smoke. Even hushed tones like Ethereal Rhapsody, a grayed-down purple; and Honey Gold, a mellow burnished yellow, work as great foundational hues.

Among the season’s most dazzling colors: the vivacious retro Tangerine Tango, Pantone’s Color of the Year; Olympian Blue, a patriotic azure; a deep, cooling Ultramarine Green; delicious vibrant Pink Flambé; and Bright Chartreuse, a vivid yellow-green that celebrates spring and is the perfect bridge into the cool days of Fall. Eiseman hails it the ideal accent to all of the colors in the palette.

Gem Equivalents:

Bright Chartreuse tsavorite garnet, demantoid garnet, peridot

Ethereal Rhapsody - amethyst, sapphire, tourmaline

French Roast - chocolate pearls, diamonds, zircon, sphene

Honey Gold - South Sea pearl, citrine, moonstone, sphene

Olympian Blue - zircon, tanzanite, chrysocolla, turquoise, opal

Pink Flambétourmaline, sapphire, spinel, rhodolite garnet

Rose Smoke - rose quartz, spinel, tourmaline, Chinese freshwater pearl

Tangerine Tango - Mexican fire opal, spessartite garnet, moonstone

Titanium – diamond, silver blue grey Tahitian pearls, moonstone, agate

Ultramarine Green - tsavorite garnet, sapphire, aquamarine, turquoise

“I’m in luck this season with Pantone’s hottest color, Tangerine Tango,” hails Paula Crevoshay, AGTA Member and Spectrum award-winning designer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Orange, in any hue, has always been a favorite of mine. In gems, I envision fiery hot and passionate fire opal, carnelian, spessartite, melba and orange hued moonstone.”

A neutral and a basic in her world, orange for Crevoshay pairs well with so many colors including cobalt blue tanzanite and midnight sapphire, hot pink tourmaline, chocolate pearls and smoky topaz, green tourmaline and peridot, and even lavender sapphire and plum amethyst and rose de lilac. “When designing with orange, I select it to emote a central hued warm light that permeates my overall piece,” she tells. “I adore cabochon orange stones surrounded by sparkling faceted gems of opposite hues that enhance that fire.”

Color enthusiast and AGTA Member Erica Courtney says her current designs embrace Pantone colors like Honey Gold (yellow sapphire) with Ultramarine Green (green tourmaline) or Rhapsody (amethyst), Tangerine Tango (orange-red sapphire) and Olympian Blue (London blue topaz). “I love these color combinations because they’re daring without being too candy colored,” says the Spectrum Award-winning L.A. designer.

In demand all year round for Courtney are bright, rich colors. “I believe that the jewelry picks the owner regardless of the season,” she says, “so our clients usually purchase the pieces that really speak to them.”

There’s really no wrong color or color combination raves Kara Ross, AGTA Member and runway-favorite jewelry and accessories designer in New York. “It’s just a matter of picking a color that works for you, with your skin tone, and is appropriate for a time and place. If you look at fashion right now there’s such a tremendous explosion of contrasting prints and colors; I love it! The unexpected or what some say ‘ugly’ color can really appear beautiful if paired with the right thing.”

Think mix, with popular motifs echoing stained glass and mosaic tiles, like the latest collection by AGTA Member Trésor. “Mosaico” showcases luscious pastel color blends in tanzanite, rhodolite, tsavorite and fancy sapphires. “You can clearly see the Fall Pantone palette in our new pieces, from Rhapsody to Pink Flambé, Tangerine Tango to Honey Gold and a mix of all in many pieces,” tells Puja Bordia of Trésor, Cliffside Park, New Jersey. “This is one of my favorite collections!”

Not only can gemstones color you happy, their cut can tickle your fancy, as seen in the latest collection, “The Bubble,” by N.Y. designer Kerri Halpern for Madstone. Inspired by a magnum of champagne, the gem centers are hand-carved by AGTA Member Kaiser Gems, to create an effervescent effect. Halpern launched the line, set in 18K yellow, rose, white or black gold, during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Celestino’s Fall/Winter show in New York. Her jewels adorned 1950’s post war-inspired looks like ivory and gold silk gowns, camel wool cocktail dresses and beaded chiffon stunners.

Designers are heeding women’s need for fantasy, escapism, happiness and color to lift their spirits. Fall fashion themes are diverse including inspirations from style icons like Lauren Becall and Audrey Hepburn; bohemian, tribal nomads; 1960’s and ‘70’s design; pop culture imagery; witches and warlocks; urban architecture and bridge structures; and the Golden Age of Shanghai.


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