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Spring Trends – To Follow or Not

Posted by Ali on February 04 at 07:51 pm

I like fashion and funky patterns and bright colors. I love John Galliano and Betsy Johnson. I like making something unexpected out of something expected. I love surprises in designs that you don’t notice right away but when you do, it’s special. I enjoy reading blogs and articles related to the fashion industry.  These things definitely affect my designs, but do I follow what I see and read or do I take my own path?

Let’s talk about what’s hot for Spring 2009:

  • chunky drop earrings
  • structured necklaces close to the neckline – almost like chokers, but not. Some call these bib necklaces.
  • colored stones – mixing colors, going bold and bright with your selections.
  • yellow gold – Not something I’ve ever used a lot of, but I think I’m going to order some gold findings and see what happens.
  • oversized necklaces
  • geometric shapes
  • multi everything – multi layered, multi textured, multi strand
  • clusters of pendants or charms or filigree – this is very open to interpretation (this is my favorite, I made a necklace in October knotting different pieces to chain)
  • Renaissance style carvings – cameos, intaglios.  Sounds like it’s time to go antiquing, yeah!
Mimosa Tree

Mimosa Tree

Pantone has named Mimosa as the color for 2009.  It is a fun energizing shade of yellow – this color could make anyone happy.

They have also named the colors for Spring 2009.  They remind me a mix of crocuses, hyacinths, grass, daisies and hope – for the cold to be gone.

As beaders, we have to balance an awareness of color and style trends with our own creativity. If we follow the trends too closely, we risk not being unique. If we ignore them completely, we risk reduced sales of our jewelry to fashion conscious buyers :)

Pantone Spring Trend Colors

Pantone Spring Trend Colors

I’ve always tried to use fashion trends as loose guidelines and put them in the back of my mind. I let them help me make design decisions, but I don’t allow them to define my direction.

We’d love to hear what you have to say about Spring 2009:

  • What will your inspiration be?
  • Which spring colors will you be loving?
  • Will you focus on necklaces, bracelets, earrings….? We’ve noticed a lot of people making more earrings.
  • What do you think of the direction of fashion right now? Too many 80s flashbacks to handle?
  • Have you started on spring designs? Show us photos!

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. No Photo
    M Counihan says:

    I like to mix brights and neutrals; I don’t favor pastels at all. I like sophisticated designs with an ethnic twist. I like to keep my designs simple with a mix of heavy and lighter weight beads. I love drop earrings but not “grape clusters” or chandelier types. And all jewelry has to be wearable above all. Museum and fashion runway designs are wonderful and inspiring but most women won’t buy or wear them.

  2. Leslie W Mtn Chick
    Leslie W Mtn Chick says:

    Ali, I’ve heard a lot about you being a designer, but have never seen any of your designs. I would love to get ideas from your designs using limabeads, and you can feel safe that my designs will always have a very different twist to them. Do you have a website showing your designs?

  3. Ali
    Ali says:

    Leslie W – In college, I got my jewelry business going pretty well, but Lima Beads and then a baby took over my life :-)

    I used to have a web site, business cards, and a catalog — the whole nine yards. I do have plenty of photos that I can share on Lima Beads (I’ll do this soon), but I haven’t had my web site up for a couple of years now. I hope to get back into designing professionally as soon as possible!

  4. Leslie W Mtn Chick
    Leslie W Mtn Chick says:

    I’m looking forward to your increased participation in I know I’m still just learning about all the stones, and am not always sure what would be a good design for specific stones.

    By the way, what about a special section about what people have done with the “free” beads you folks have shared with us? Now, yesterday, I just got a free drop of chewing gum, oh no, I mean a tumbled seashell. Well, I know you folks give away nice things, but I’m stumped as to what to do with this item. Do you have any ideas about incorporating this in a seaside themed jewelry item, or is this just to challenge us all, or get back at us???? (By the way I am stuck at home due to the snow in NC with nothing better to do!)

  5. No Photo
    Luv2bead - Little Chick says:

    You should & I hope that you get to. :)

  6. LoriEllen
    LoriEllen says:

    “I’ve always tried to use fashion trends as loose guidelines and put them in the back of my mind. I let them help me make design decisions, but I don’t allow them to define my direction.”
    This is a good rule to follow. I try to do my own thing as much as possible myself. You will never stand out following what others are doing.
    The past few months I’ve been incorporating the ‘style’ of my ceramics art into my jewelry and other things I make. I like to use a mix of media with gemstones like polymer clay and stoneware ceramics beads, lampwork, fibers, etc.. And I like to make all of them myself with the exception of the gemstones (Although if I had the tools I’d probably try to make those too, haha).

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  7. LoriEllen
    LoriEllen says:

    One more (heehee) :9

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  8. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Leslie – Those shell drops have a long history here at Lima Beads. We got them a couple of years ago and the funny thing is – they were expensive! They just didn’t sell because they have an odd appearance, as you’ve described, and they’re also difficult to use. We decided to give them away for free and see what people could come up with. I haven’t seen any designs yet, but if someone has been able to use them, maybe they’ll share some photos with us :)

    I see that Tab has made good use of the peach pits in her photos above. That’s another bead we hear is difficult to use, but awesome job Tab! That necklace is so cool and different.

  9. Leslie W Mtn Chick
    Leslie W Mtn Chick says:

    Tab, beautiful beads! It looks like you are influenced by the ocean and the creatures which poke their tentacles out from the shells attached to coral rock formations. The one with the round beadlike formations was a great focal bead!

  10. LoriEllen
    LoriEllen says:

    Yeah, those are from you guys, haha. :D I love them! I made earrings with hem too. And thanks!


  11. LoriEllen
    LoriEllen says:

    Leslie W:
    I do like ocean life but am usually thinking of small botanical life for my work such as fungi, pods and things like that. :) I get the ocean comment all the time though, I guess I do it without realizing, haha. Thanks!
    The focal bead I think you are talking about is ceramic, I made a bunch of them in college but graduated in Dec. so I don’t have a studio to work in anymore. :( Now I’m saving to get a kiln of my own so I can keep working in clay. (ceramics was my major)

    I hope more people post their stuff! :D

  12. Ali
    Ali says:

    Tab, your jewelry creations are like a vibrant and colorful dream. So pretty!
    Do you sell your pieces or do you make these for yourself?

  13. LoriEllen
    LoriEllen says:

    Thank you!
    I sell them (although I often want to keep them, haha)
    Should I link? Or is that spammy? I can link my Flickr instead of my shop so others can see more pics, if linking my shop is tacky. :9

  14. No Photo
    Luv2bead - Little Chick says:

    Do you have a website? I’d like to see more pictures.

  15. No Photo
    Rhonda c says:

    i too enjoy designs with something unexpected in them.i use beads and gems that match whatever mood i’m in.needless to say,some designs are cheerful&fun,while others are more conservative.i haven’t purchased anything from this site yet,i’m lookin’ at stuff every night tho.soo…..bead happy.dont follw trends.takes away whats you in the what makes you feel good or says what you are feelin’ right then.thats the art in beadin’.bye….rhonda

  16. No Photo
    Sara Jane says:

    The first time you receive an order from Lima Beads you will be SO excited that you decided to order from them. They really have the best selection of beads on the web. You will never be disappointed with an order from here. The pictures rarely do justice to the quality of the beads. (not that the photos aren’t good!)

  17. Anita QoG Funny Chick
    Anita QoG Funny Chick says:

    I rarely follow the trends, when I make my jewelry I work with colors that seem to go with my mood. My stuff has changed with my abilities, I learned to make chain-mail, so I add alittle of that. I learned wire knitting, so I use alittle of that. I’ve done alot of different arts & crafts over the years so I incorperate some of that. I do some glass fusing & torch work, as well as silverwork (making my own bezels & such) I guess what I’m saying is keep learning new jewelry techniques & mix them them together, it keeps it fresh, then you’ll have your own look!!!

  18. Anita QoG Funny Chick
    Anita QoG Funny Chick says:

    P.S. If I learn to use our digital camera I’ll actually show some of my things…..??..!!!!

  19. L Bergstrom
    L Bergstrom says:

    I sometimes follow the trends, but I have found that because of were I live…the ‘trends’ so to speak, don’t really take hold here until..oh, a few years down the road…Hodunk back woods We do get a log of Chicago and Twin Cities people here as we are a tourist town…in the summer, so for them, I do follow some trends, but this big and chunky thing…it is so my thing, I love big and chunky and always have, and it has been my biggest seller in bracelets for years. So trends…I dunno…I think the shopper is going to purchase what they like, what fits there personality, and maybe just nip the tip of the trend when they are in the mood. A couple pics of what I have been doing…not all that special, but I have found that the more unique I get, the less it sells, I have to save those pieces for certain stores in certain locations. These pics are of what I am selling locally in Hodunk (not really the!! The first pic, the Turquoise, does not really clasp where the clasp is. I attatched that for decor..and the drops are attached with a magnetic piece so they can be removed. can be worn either way, with or without drops. The second was designed around a pendant I found at an estate sale. It just happened to match the sodalite I had in my stash as well as coral, and…the pendant was beyond cheap! Fun little piece, a bit southwestern, but fun for summer!!!

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  20. No Photo
    Luv2bead - Little Chick says:

    You know what we need, a gallery to show pictures of our designs. I’ve seen it mentioned before in previous blogs and I think that it would be a GREAT idea!

  21. Kitty Chicky Cat
    Kitty Chicky Cat says:

    I agree with what Luv2bead said! There are so many awesome creative people on this site I’d love a pick their beading brains and get inspired by how they put Lima’s great beads together.

  22. Kitty Chicky Cat
    Kitty Chicky Cat says:

    “to pick someone’s brain”, that’s such a gross expression! Ewww!

  23. Kitty Chicky Cat
    Kitty Chicky Cat says:

    Tab, your stuff is funky and fun! I think it’s really cool that you make your own beads! Wow!
    L Bergstrom, your necklaces are beautiful! I especially love the Turquoise one! It’s elegant and it’s really cool that you used that beautiful clasp as the focal point! I’ve been wanting to do something like that!

    Thanks for sharing our stuff with us. We want to see more!!!! please :D

  24. Kitty Chicky Cat
    Kitty Chicky Cat says:

    OOPS!!!!!!! That was sapose to be Thanks for shairing Your stuff with us!

  25. Leslie W Mtn Chick
    Leslie W Mtn Chick says:

    I don’t sell any of my things – I am just at the beginning of my beading career where I want everything for ME! Anybody like that? As a consequence I don’t have much money to buy all the beads I’d like to experiment with. Anyway, I don’t follow trends, but just have a lovely adventure exploring beaded jewelry for myself. I am a petite woman, and I design with a petite frame in mind, and I have very tiny wrists. I have just fallen in love with turquoise and brown so the african turquoise with smoky quartz made a great extra long necklace with dark brown seed beads which I could wrap around my neck twice. I love it. I try to select stones which I love which are on sale as I like the challenge of frugal beading. I guess I’d rather find a thrift store “find” and challenge myself to make an inexpensive piece with it than plan an entire piece using expensive items which someone else has designed. I enjoy the challenge of designing something using the “free” items I get from Lima Beads. I’m now awaiting my free tumbled seashell and have no idea what to do with it! And I just solved the Limabeads puzzle and won a free gift! Don’t forget to do it no matter how long it takes, and for me it was very hard!!

  26. No Photo
    J Gockel says:

    I read Vogue and Bazaar because I love fashion. I heard once that the U.S. is some, 7 years behind fashion. I’m not sure that is still true but it seems I see my design ideas in stores or magazines, after I have made them. I guess it means I am on the right track(?). Looking at trends is important for me as a designer, since most people seem to follow them. I start out designing a piece with some “new” trend in mind, then depending upon what I have on hand and where my own mind goes, it takes on a life of it’s own.

  27. Anita QoG Funny Chick
    Anita QoG Funny Chick says:

    It sounds to me like everyone has their own ideas about what they want to do!!!! That’s exactly how it should be, or, everyones things would look the same, especially if we all follow the trends!!!!

  28. No Photo
    Rhonda c says:

    sarah jane…thx for the info….workin’ up an order.i really like the wish list.easy to makeupp ur ltr.stay busy and happy.

  29. No Photo
    Rhonda c says:

    well,sarah jane ,i did first order from lima beads.i almost feel like a traitor……been orderin’ from same co. for years.i hope the beads r all usay.i’m lookin’ forward to gettin’ them.have a nice day all.bye

  30. No Photo
    Rhonda c says:

    got my beads…luv’em!!!!!thank you.

  31. No Photo
    Joelle U says:

    I’ve never really thought about fashion as I’m not a follower myself. however I want to sell my stuff so I downloaded Pantone’s spring colours.

    I’ve juts bought a bead board and a multi tool so I think I’ll be making many necklaces and drilling holes in pretty stones I find.

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