I have mixed feelings about fashion trends. On the one hand, I get bored easily and I like to shake things up. On the other hand, I have a considerable collection of embarrassing photos of me wearing trends that, well, let's just say didn't hold up in the long run.
In the jewelry world, if you're just designing for yourself, you'd be safe to ignore trends, although you might miss some great new components or tips that might spark new ideas. But once you go into business—and 50% of beaders sell their work—you'll probably want to at least know what the trends are, whether or not you decide to follow them. How do you do that?
It's hard to see the big picture by yourself. When I submitted my "Ms. Mod" necklace back in January, I had no idea I was part of a larger trend. Someone like Stringing editor Danielle Fox, on the other hand, can spot a new trend faster than you can say "filigree"! Here are four trends she's identified in the fall issue of Stringing:
Cords. String your pieces on something other than beading wire. Some possibilities include leather cord, silk ribbon, microfiber suede, and waxed linen cord.
Filigree is hot!
Filigree. There are many ornamental openwork beads now available in a variety of shapes and finishes that lend an old-world charm to your jewelry. Some filigree beads are studded with other beads like tiny crystals.
Leaves. Leaves are a personal favorite design element of mine. (I like them so much that when I was organizing my beads recently, I made "leaves" an entire category!) There's a beautiful 2-page spread in this issue of Stringing that shows the many types of leaf beads available: glass, ceramic, clay, Swarovski crystal, pewter, silver, brass, copper . . .
Long Necklaces. Many necklaces are so long now, you can wrap them
My Ms. Mod Necklace
in Stringing magazine around your neck twice. One of the necklaces in this section of the magazine topped out at 46 inches! (My own necklace came in at a "short" 26 1/2 inches.)
Not everything in the issue fits one of these trends. Just like the rest of the fashion world, there are also classic, timeless designs (like the two featured projects below) and those that defy categorization.
Would you like to participate in a future Beading Daily challenge? Take this quick poll, so I can see how many people might be interested. I'd also love to hear your ideas about challenges, so please send those along when you fill out the poll, or post your suggestions here in the comments section. Thanks!