The Style Wars

September 1998

Professional Insider:Trend Spotting

The Style Wars

Luxe vs. Minimalist

Boo on American Vogue;hurray for European luxury magazine Orient Express.Covers from both magazines point up a different approach to fashion that writer Suzy Menkes dubs The Style Wars.

While European designers pile on the jewelry, as evidenced by the Galliano look for Christian Dior that graces the Orient Expresscover, Americans such as Isaac Mizrahi feature minimalist clothing without jewels, as shown on the Voguecover. (Ironically, Mizrahi introduced a new line of platinum and diamond jewelry this summer.)

Part of the reason is the clothing itself. The Dior luxury look cries out for fabulous jewelry, such as the silver and diamond suite shown here, while Claire Danes looks just swell letting her sequined shell glitter on its own.

The challenge for jewelers? Get that minimalist woman to see how terrific a pair of hinged-hoop earrings or dangles would look on her ears and how good a simple bangle would look on her wrist. In advertising promotions aimed at women in the minimalist mode, feature a pared-down model wearing simple jewelry.

Another idea is to use your sales associates as examples. That minimalist dresser in the diamond department could demonstrate how the right piece of jewelry adds refinement. A fashionable woman need not look overdone.

For those who embrace the luxury look, you may have to hold them back from piling it on. Or maybe not.



Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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