Moods ranged from ultra modern futuristic to ever-lasting nostalgia at NY NOW, the trade fair held in NYC (formerly known as the Gift Show). There was so much more than gifts. Accessories have become an important component of the fair representing many artisans/designers who add a unique, treasure trove-like vibe.
Stainless steel textiles in a variety of industrial-looking patterns gave small leather goods a distinct futuristic tech accessory look at Stewart/Stand, a company that prides itself to combine technology with design. Its stainless steel wallet naturally blocks RFID transmissions thus protecting the new chip credit cards from potential theft.
Jewelry was amply represented, from fashion to bridge to fine jewelry. In this era of mass production it was rewarding to see many designers showing one-of-a-kind pieces that they had hand-crafted themselves. Three distinct jewelry themes emerged: Pared down modern geometry, natural organics and last but not least, an eternally romantic story.
Bold yet delicate best describes the large, airy earrings with coordinating necklaces by ElaineB Jewelry allowing the wearer to make a powerful, confidence-exuding statement. Minimal contemporary designs in fine jewelry (or the look of fine!) remain a major trend. Modern mixes of black and gold have a distinct industrial feel. However, there is nothing mass-produced about them. Colleen Mauer hand-crafts each piece individually. Harika also crafts each piece by hand, and her designs are always eclectic and can be inspired by unconventional objects such as a car tail light or a boat propeller, always strictly contemporary.
Nature in its raw form continues to appeal, and metal smith Petra Class is embracing the look of rough, uncut stones in their original shape and sets them into 18-karat gold. PazCollective delves into its Mexican and Indian heritage with modern, daring, bold bracelets of uncut rose quartz set into 18-karat gold plate. The interplay of texture, colour and transparency in an organic mood also characterizes Tracy Arrington’s designs in easy-to-wear contemporary jewelry designs in tune with a casual lifestyle.
8. Anne Vaughan
Romance is in the air at Anne Vaughan with long, layered necklaces using repurposed jewelry components, gem stones and multi-coloured pearls to create an ultra-feminine look that goes beyond current trends. Grandmother’s Buttons is also cherishing vintage by using actual antique buttons from 1880-1920 in one-of-a-kind charm bracelets that can convert to necklaces with extenders. The Art Deco era is also a source of inspiration for this timeless vintage look in jewelry.
More accessories and handbags were equally well represented, and sprinkled throughout were watch and eyewear companies showing collections that were a little more eclectic than the big mainstream brands. In sum, NY NOW has become an important resource for accessories showcasing collections from hand-made artisan looks to sleek, modern industrial designs and more.
The next edition of NY NOW will take place in NYC August 20 – 24, 2016.