Rapaport Magazine

Gem Visions 2008

Style 2007

By Amber Michelle
RAPAPORT... Mysticism, romance, history, technology and planet Earth are all influences on the trends that the world will be tuning into during 2008, according to Gem Visions by Signity. Each year, Signity gathers together information based on research, brainstorming sessions and interactive workshops covering media, science, art, literature and news that are indicative of creative, cultural and sociological shifts and movements. These sources help to determine what the top trends of the coming 12 months will be.

The keyword for 2008 is “Essential.” It is a year to celebrate jewelry. The Megatrends from which Gem Visions distills four design directions are Earth Legacy, inspired by organics and the green movement; Historic Classics, which view jewelry as status; Essence of Design, a return to classics and pure linear design as well as spirituality, and Graphic, inspired by the “super value-added” generation that is influenced by technology, where the functional becomes precious. For 2008, Gem Visions identified what are expected to be the most meaningful design directions on the market — Origems, Blue Matrix, Mysticglam and iRomance.


Gem Visions describes this trend as part of the organic movement. Pieces are inspired by the earth and the sculptural look of land. The textures and colors take their cues from nature. Unusual materials — shell, bone, conch pearl or melo pearl, rough and colored diamonds — are important in thiscategory as their natural form is the essence of this design movement. Sociologically, according to Gem Visions, this trend underlines the continuing search for well-being. In this case, gemstones are exalted for their energy and healing properties.

The Customer

The customer for this look, Gem Visions reports, is one who is ecoconscious, fashion-forward, interested in the metaphysical aspects of gems and not afraid to make a bold statement. One-of-a-kind pieces are important to this theme as sometimes the materials used will not be exactly the same from piece to piece.


The look of the pieces that fall into the Origems category is soft yet strong. They have an organic feeling with a combination of textures, lightness and density and stones that have a sense of their origins, such as a rough diamond or some sort of fossil.

The shapes are rounded, fluid and full, with a look that is almost overflowing. This theme takes a motif and breaks it down to its purest form and essence.

Colors for this grouping are earth tones: neutrals, iridescent whites, sand and pearl, smoky gray and browns.

Blue matrix

Elongated shapes, skyscrapers, contemporary architecture and a mechanical, industrial modern feel are the essence of this design direction, says the Gem Vision study. The jewelry in this category is geometric and graphic, with chains playing an important role.

The Customer

Blue Matrix, with its sleek androgynous look, is also an important design direction for men’s jewelry. This trend has appeal to a young, professional crowd that is design conscious, predicts Gem Vision.


Key to the Blue Matrix style is the chain, due to its elongated, mechanical and repetitive nature. Pendants and medallions remain important in this style. The well-structured grid system on which the jewels in this category are designed is a sociological reflection of a return to a more structured attitude toward life and more conservative values, finds the Gem Visions study. The jewelry is not always totally linear, sometimes showing deconstruction to add movement to a piece. Baguettes, princess and triangular cuts are all important shapes for this style of jewelry.


The color palette for this theme is cool, focusing on blues that ombré into grays.


A melting pot of inspirations, Gem Visions characterizes the Mysticglam trend as dark and brooding, with mythical motifs and a gothic flare. Medieval magic and alchemy are also conjured up by this look, made modern with a note of Glamrock’n’roll. This design direction is filled with the symbolism of magic and decoration reminiscent of the crafting of the Renaissance.

The Customer

According to Gem Visions, the customer for this style is a self-confident professional, a jewelry connoisseur, as well as those wishing to make a grand entrance.

There is a sense of treasure from the Medieval and Renaissance periods, along with secret signs and symbols. A feeling of richness is important to this style, which manifests in large, oversized showy pieces. Detailing is a key element in Mysticglam. Pieces will have engraving andmetal chasing. Patina and enamels are part of this look as well, mixing with dark-color stones. It is highly embellished jewelry. Pendants, brooches and large rings that become a signature piece for the wearer are part of this look. The amulet of the recent past now takes on an occult feeling in this design direction, finds the Gem Visions report.


As the theme of these jewels suggests, dark colors often associated with velvet and brocades are hallmarks. Rubies, blue sapphires, emeralds and amethysts contrasting with pearls or enamel are integral to Mysticglam.


Computers and technology are key influences for this youthful, energetic trend, notes the Gem Visions report, as are lace and Victoriana. In this look, high-tech meets high fashion with a whimsical quality. Lots of tiny stones or clusters of gems are used to create the styles in this theme. The look is childlike and playful, with movement an important aspect of the jewelry.

The Customer

iRomance appeals to a young fashion crowd with a modern take on wearing jewelry.


There is a mixture of influences in iRomance, which combines ultra-high-tech computer graphics with old-fashioned embroidery; the innocence of flowers is juxtaposed with surrealism and fetish-inspired charms and toys. The look is highly stylized, floral motifs that are not naturalistic, or “bouquets” of gems. Pearls are important in this design direction, shown in an ultra-feminine, highly romantic form with shades of pink an impactful accent. Pearls — especially pastel color pearls — are accented by clusters of gems. Lockets, particularly if they are trimmed with dainty gems and then dangled from a ribbon, are part of the iRomance look. Playful luxury is another concept that is crucial to this design direction. Charms and pendants are shaped like shoes, bears, bags and other everyday objects but made with diamonds and gemstones in precious metals.


Colors for iRomance are a mix of pastels and brights, sometimes used together.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - September 2007. To subscribe click here.

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