I’m not usually a mainstream kind of guy, but fashion critiques of the Golden Globes and Grammys are everywhere online and in print. With the Academy Awards coming up on March 2nd, they’re not going away any time soon, so I thought I’d offer my two cents. So let’s talk fashion for a bit. Let’s talk about the Pantone Color of the Year – Radiant Orchid – and what it will mean to how I approach my jewelry designs this year.
My usual short answer: Not a damn thing. I design my custom work around what my clientele asks for, and what I think is beautiful. If someone comes to me with this color in mind, that’s fantastic; I’ll build them they will love. I’ve made a career of going against the grain and debunking the concept that normal and “in” are the only acceptable options. I’m not ignorant of trends, but I try not to get caught up in what I know will change in just a few months. Again: the lasting beauty of what will look good on an individual client is what I have in mind when I design jewelry.
That having been said, this year is a little different. The Pantone Color of the Year just happens to coincide with one of my favorite colors to design around. Radiant Orchid is a pale tone of purple with more red and pink undertones than blue.
I love building jewelry around amethyst because just about anyone can wear some shade of purple. It also compliments most other colors. But amethyst as a gemstone doesn’t only come in deep purple. It can be as pale as lavender or – get this – Radiant Orchid.
And amethyst isn’t the only purple gemstone out there. Sapphire, spinel, and garnet all come in various tones and saturations of purple from pastel to jewel tones. Opals can have streaks or pinpricks of purple fire in them. Some gems that are traditionally cut en cabochon like jade, charoite, and sugilite span the range of purples from the red end to the blue end. Even Tahitian pearls with a lot of peacock to them can pull purples and reds and greens together.
Purple isn’t all there is to Radiant Orchid, though. There are strong pink undertones in it. Morganite, tourmaline, and kunzite are all excellent compliments to the range of colors the fashion industry will be exploring with Radiant Orchid.
I’ll be in Tucson soon, and since the industry is currently moving in a direction I already like going, I might look for some colored gems of this color range to incorporate into a design this year. But I’ll probably design some things geared to compliment the Color of the Year. Or better yet, while I’m in Tucson, I can search for something specific like that to fit a piece of jewelry you’d like me to create for you. Just come in and see me.