A Feast for the Eyes

Help yourself to jewels in every color.

BY LORRAINE DEPASQUE

Jewelry fashion this season is about fun—pieces that make you smile. “While white diamonds and neutral precious stones will forever be Hollywood favorites,” says Ginnina D’Orazio, “all the colored gems being used right now in designer jewelry are making a lasting impact on the red carpet.” And she would certainly know: for more than a decade, celebrities and their stylists have made D’Orazio & Associates, a private showroom in Beverly Hills, a must-stop destination. When stars like Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie and Amy Adams appear at awards shows, movie premieres and film festivals, many of the dazzling jewelry designs they wear are on loan through the showroom.

Amrapali Nine Sunflower Navrata floral ear cuffs in 18K yellow gold

MULTICOLOR BRILLIANCE:  With inside access to Hollywood’s A-listers, D’Orazio can confirm that fanciful multicolor mixes are a key fashion direction this year. Think of words like rainbow, graffiti and kaleidoscope—anything that invokes images of joyful, juicy color combinations. Such upbeat jewelry with prismatic palettes happens to be right in step with fashion’s painterly styles, too. Elie Saab and Giambattista Valli, for example, both presented 2015 resort collections brilliantly awash in artistic multi-hued fabrics that look like studies in Impressionism. In the trending jewelry look, all of sapphire’s fancy shades— pink, orange, purple, green, red—are particularly popular, as are mixes of three (or more) natural colored diamonds.

Amrapali cuff with rubies and diamonds

RED ALERT: One thing to try this season is mixing your multicolor jewelry with singlecolor gem pieces, especially red stones. Alongside that colorful rose-cut stone bracelet, for example, add a new red gem stack to create fashionable arm candy. “We’ve had a lot of celebrities select jewelry with spinel and rhodolite garnet,” notes D’Orazio. “These semi-precious stones give you brilliant red color that makes a statement, but with an affordable price tag.”

Nonetheless, two of the precious reds—ruby and fancy red sapphire— are surely worth the price. Favorites this year in have been slightly edgy designs with crimson-hued stones set in darkened gold or blackened silver. For many red gem beauties, inspiration began in February in Tucson, Arizona at the annual AGTA GemFair Tucson, the world’s most important annual marketplace for natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls. Robyn Hawk, gem cutter, mineral expert and self-proclaimed “serial blogger”—one of her eight blogs is devoted to Tucson’s prestigious gem show—says, “The desert was resplendent in vibrant jewel tones: fuchsia spinel, fanta orange spessartite garnet, the ruby-like scarlet of rubellite tourmaline, vivid lime-green peridot, and the languid purply-blue of tanzanite.”

Sutra Jewels 18K black gold opal Marquee ring

OPALS & DRUZIES & DOUBLETS, OH MY! “The big story was opal,” Hawk continues. “If you want your style to be ontrend this year, opal jewelry is a must-have. Some Boulder opals exhibit a beautiful pattern that brings to mind the great abstract painters. And Ethiopian opal is awe-inspiring; remember Cate Blanchett’s Chopard opal earrings at the Academy Awards?” Luckily, since opal was one of Tucson’s strongest selling gems, you’ll have many types and colors to choose from this year (including black opal, white opal and crystal opal).

Talking about other on-trend gems, Hawk suggests “when you’re feeling extra-arty and daring, be sure to layer on something with druzy. One thing’s for sure: No one else will be wearing it because every druzy quartz is a one-of-a-kind wonder.” Hawk says the gem show was filled with brilliant hues, “even metallic drusies, which are gleaming varieties coated with a film of gold, platinum, sterling silver or copper. And they were hot, hot, hot!”

Stephen Webster Crystal Haze earrings in 18K rose gold from the Lady Stardust collection, featuring doublet with pink opal and white diamonds

FUN FASHION CHOICES: For the most fashion-forward looks, whether you’re wearing drusy, doublets, opal, red gems, or multicolor designs, there are three words to remember this season: layer, layer, layer! Many luxe new necklaces feature varying shapes of colored gems on a single elongated chain. And for bracelets, odd numbered stacks are most on-trend in thin and very thin gauges. Mixing and matching super-slim bangles from different brands is best, as it gives a uniquely customized look for the wrist without having to design custom pieces. Of course, when it comes to the ultimate in high-end hip this year, it’s often about the ears and hands. Ear cuffs clip onto the top of your ear, while ear climbers—aka “ear vines”—sparkle upward from the lobe, at once edgy and elegant.

For beautifully adorned hands, 2014 style is about everything from dramatic one-finger elongated knuckle rings worn on any finger… to delicate midi rings that sit between the fingernail and knuckle… to multifinger rings that adventurously stretch over two or three fingers… to hand jewelry with sparkling chains and stones draped from finger to wrist.

Yes, this is a happy time for jewelry, so have fun this fall!