Monday, February 7, 2011

Spring Colors Part 1

I've learned that in order to generate new customers, you have to stay current.  And by current, I mean months ahead.  In order to have a jewelry collection full of spring colors and fashion trends, I had to start making them 3 months ago to have them ready by the end of March (but did I know that 3 months ago?  Not so much...).  And that means researching.  Sure, it's a heck of a lot more interesting to research what colors are in this season and look at tons of beautiful pictures than it is to head to the library and whip out books on Sumerian cylindrical seals, but its still research. 

I'm going to share my research with you in the hopes that it makes it easier for you.  All opinions are my own, of course, and you might not like the colors that I picked from the line-up or the way I put them together.  That's fine.  But I'll also be giving you my sources, and those I find harder to figure out.  Sifting through the multiple google results is exhausting.  So about once a week I'll bring you a new tidbit of the upcoming season from a new source. 

This month is all about Spring, since that's the next season.  I know the fashion houses are already on NEXT spring, but I'm a humble girl learning all about this whole new world of fabric and color swatches and how it can make or break an outfit. If you're anything like me, it's an overwhelming new world.  I'll try to make it a little easier to manage. 

First up, is the Michael Kors Collection at Neiman Marcus (images below do NOT belong to me, unfortunately). 
This image is one of many, and shows what I found to be the most common factor: pale, neutral colors.  Grays, beiges, tans, khakis...anything that is subtle and soft and can be paired with a stronger color.  No patterns, just solid colors, predominate.  Adding an intriguing detail, like the V cuts on the bottom of the skirt, ramp up what would be a boring shift dress. 

What does this mean for jewelry?  Plenty of opportunity!  Look at that blank canvas: it's begging for a strong, solid accessory.  I'd go with gold findings, to make it pop.  Otherwise it will get lost in the gray haze.  Make it simple and sleek, like the outfit; not much detail, but plenty of glass.  Big beads.  Flat or round (more to come on that...).  And like the "V" cut, you can add one or two usual details on the beads that stand out in an otherwise solid color palette. 
But before you jump to it, check out the neckline...not much of one.  Most of the outfits are high-necked sheath dresses or shirts.  So plan for that when designing your necklaces.  I'm going to go with longer chain links and a cluster pendant with one big focal bead, or a long chain of big fat round beads in solid colors (look for those come March!)

 This outfit shows my two favorite colors at the moment: Bright Lemon Yellow and Dark Navy Blue.  This is a great combination, and easily transfered into jewelry.  Check out the high collar again...I think bracelets will be the key accessory this Spring.  And perhaps anklets. 
When making beads for the Spring, I'm going to focus on flat and round beads.  When paired with a collar shirt and capris, a flat bead matches the whole feel of the outfit better than a large, round bead.  And keep it simple  - use only two or three colors, in big, bold strokes. 

Another example of the Dark Navy Blue.  Pair this color off with one of the neutral tones from the first outfit, and you've got a nice accessory that will match multiple outfits.  And during this economic turbulence, who doesn't want an economical accessory?  I also have to mention the A-line dress is one of my favorite looks because it's made for curves.  With this I would definitely use round beads to accent that effect. 

Putting together the two: A solid color mixed with the neutral tone.  This will be key for the Spring season.  And this has that "explorer" vibe that I sensed in many of his outfits.  It involves Khaki, dusty colors with a dark solid companion color, and loose, breezy look.  I'm going to try and find a way to mimic that flowing feel in the necklaces, using lots of empty chain and wire with a few strong beads.  And layers; wrapping layers upon layers.  Nothing is tight in this outfit; it's all comfortable.  Make the accessories the same. 

Below I've picked out some of the colors I'll be using.  I order from Mountain Glass; they are amazing, with great customer service and quality (and all their pastels are on sale this month!).  "Messy Color" company has some of my favorite colors, and some of the best for the Spring (all images copyrighted to Mountain Glass).
"Leaky Pen" by Messy Color.  My go-to color so far, it's a perfect match for the navy colors that you see in the images.  It's very, very dense and can look black if thick enough.  And it looks great paired with:

"Light Lemon Yellow"

"Dark Fossil". 
This color is very strong on it's own, so I made a bunch of large round beads in solid Fossil and solid Leaky Pen.  A piece made of just Fossil would be great too, since it is multi-toned. 

In second place for me is "Simply Berry":

Like Leaky Pen, this is a dense transparent that looks great paired with a neutral color.  Speaking of neutral colors...

"Light Ivory" never does me wrong.  It provides the perfect background for the solid colors.  I'm putting thick stringers paired with big fat dots on long, flat beads.  Sheer surfaces are also in, so everything is melted in.  Sleek and svelte, like the fashion. 

Another perfect winner for the neutral colors, "Pearl Gray Pastel" is a wonderful compliment to any color.  Use it as a background or a stand-alone spacer bead. 

To sum up, the keywords for the Michael Kors Collection are Sleek, Solid, and Bold.  I'm going to avoid too many sparkles, Clear glass, and tight patterns.  Loose, flowing, and strong, the designs will be secondary to the colors.  And either big round beads or flat long ones, depending on the outfit.  A strong color paired with a neural.  Dark, thick colors that look like they would flow slowly, like quicksand. 

I'll be back with more; there are plenty of websites out there to decipher.  Again, this is just my opinion.  I hope it helps you come up with ideas, or at least look at mine and think, "nope, not that."  Anything that makes it easier for you. 


  1. Great post. I like how you took the dresses and trended them with possible jewelry looks.

  2. HI,
    I work in retail and the biggest colors i am seeing are turquoise, berry/purple, bright pink

    Just my 2 cents