Do you know your beading trends 2017? Do you even care? I never think of myself as a slave to fashion, but I want to share why that can be a problem.
So, join me to find out how my beading inadvertently became fashionable. Get to know what’s on trend for 2017. Then find out how you too can get on trend, but without compromising the beading you love.
Why I’ve Never Followed Beading Trends
Seeing as I’m trying to make my living out of creating and selling beading designs, you might think it would be a good thing if I knew what is trending. Well, the truth is, I’ve never been a slave to fashion. Not of any sort! I’ve never subscribed to a fashion magazine (and I rarely browse them!). I’ve always prided myself on ‘being different’. I don’t want to be like everybody else. I enjoy celebrating the fact that I am a unique individual.
So, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard me say this before. I actually go out of my way to try not to look at other designers’ work. Over my entire beading career, I’ve made less than ten projects that I haven’t designed myself. If you have ever seen my collection of beadwork, then you’ll know that’s basically an insignificant statistic! Why do I do this? It’s primarily so that I avoid inadvertently copying someone else. I find it also helps me to keep true to myself.
If I am constantly looking at what other people are making and wearing, it subtly influences and dilutes the ideas that pop into my head. Of course, all those ideas come from somewhere. Sometimes I can pinpoint the source, sometimes I can’t. However, I’ve never thought about trying to follow beading trends or fashion as a source of ideas.
How I suddenly found I was ‘on trend’
When people ask me to describe my style, I confess I have a hard time. I’ve never tried to cultivate a style. Doubtless I have one. Most probably you can spot it more easily than me. Come to that, before I think about answering that question, I should probably think about what ‘beading style’ means.
I know all my work is colourful. I adore colour. So, when I am starting a new project, I just pick colours that appeal. This means you’ll struggle to find a lot of ‘muted’ or ‘neutral’ or ‘black’ designs in my collection. So, maybe that is one thing that could define my style.
I have most often been told that my work is ‘whimsical’. So, whatever that means to you, let’s assume that’s another facet of my style.
In terms of project types, I have an enormous range. I love doing literally anything and everything. So, as last count, I had almost 300 patterns on here. In amongst those, you’ll find pretty much every necklace length. You’ll find different bracelet styles, different earrings. Then, of course, there are all my non-jewellery projects.
I haven’t had any conscious plan as I’ve created all this work. I just make what I feel like. So, it then becomes a game of odds. With all that variety, you could probably find beadwork, from me, that fits the current beading trends all the time. What a revelation! For someone who likes to be different, I’ve just discovered I’m always in fashion…more to the point my work really fits the beading trends 2017!
What are the beading trends 2017?
My personal bugbear with trends is that they are someone else’s definition of what I should and should not like or do or wear. So, bearing that in mind, how do you work out what is currently on trend?
Well, you could consult established and reputable traders. So, the big bead shops might blog about the beading trends 2017. You can also think more laterally. Beading is often used to create jewellery, so what is trending in this world? If you want to find out, then follow catwalk fashion or observe what’s in the high street stores. Beading is also a craft, so you might find that trends in other crafts are also making their way into beading designs.
Looking at all these sources, here is a quick guide to top beading trends 2017.
- Traditional seed beads are seeing a bit of a resurgence…
- …but shaped seed beads are still very apparent, so take your pick. Whichever camp you fall into, you are guaranteed to be ‘on trend’ right now!
- Sautoir (long rope necklaces) jewellery has been very apparent on the catwalk
- Cuff bracelets are still in vogue – they were a big feature of celebrity fashion last year and that looks set to stay
- Statement earrings are bang on. So, forget dainty little drops and think big and bold and different!
- In the craft world, whimsy is all the rage, with flamingos and squirrels being particularly popular this year!
So, you could use this short list as a starting point for inspiration for your beading projects. Or, you could just ignore it and keep on beading what you enjoy. Forget about what someone else tells you to like!
Why should you care about beading trends?
If you’re beading for other people, then you might want to spend a bit of time at least thinking about the beading trends. Perhaps you want to make a gift for someone. Would it help if you made them a piece of jewellery that is really fashionable? Again, if it’s personal gifting, you probably know the person in question best. So, I would still be tempted to say, forget the beading trends and just make what they will like.
So, I think the only group that really needs to worry about trends and fashion are those of you who make jewellery to sell. Whether you realise it or not, your customers are going to be influenced by what they’ve seen in catalogues. They may take note of what their favourite celebrity is wearing. Or, they may be avid followers of fashion. Like it or not, you are probably also competing with high street stores. So, I would argue that if you know what is fashionable, you can make new jewellery to suit the beading trends 2017.
How to keep your own identity
I’ve talked before about how to set up a jewellery business. In that process, I argued, one of the first things you want to do is develop your own identity. This will be your brand and this is what makes you unique. If you were just the same as everyone else, then why would anyone want to buy from you?
So, how does this square with my argument that you should also be following beading trends 2017? The thing to remember is, a trend is just a guideline. What do I mean by that? Well, take my own work. I’ve said that I like colour and I’ve said that I have a whimsical style. Ok, so fashion has finally caught up with me and whimsy is in. So, make any of my designs and you’re bound to be in fashion this year!
Two Real-Life Examples
Let me take another example: the sautoir. This is basically describing a length and/or style of necklace. Beyond that, I can do what I please with it. So, since I like colour, I can make this my own by creating a sautoir necklace in a really bright colour palette. I’ve already done that with this simple herringbone necklace. If you happen to think this colour combination is disgusting, that’s fine. It’s a doddle to pick three colours that you like. You can do the same as me and choose three strong contrasts. This will give the design a bold look. Or, try three shades of the same colour, for a more muted look. If the idea of changing colour scares you, then try these blogs for help.
Let’s stick to the sautoir idea and take another of my trademark style elements: whimsy. In this rope, I decided to pick a theme. For whatever reason, I went with a theme of the seaside. I ended up with a design that is basically a rope necklace, but the little toggle included a picture. This turned it into a whimsical piece.
Beading on Trend
Hopefully that has given you some food for thought. It is possible to become a slave to fashion (beading trends 2017) and keep your own unique identity. So, with that in mind, I just want to share a few patterns that are right on trend.
I mentioned flamingos…well, I have flamingos! Yes, this necklace is very pink, but if that offends you, try changing the background colour to something other than pink! I don’t think you can do much about the flamingos… This is also a very traditional seed bead project, so if you fall into that category, you can find a lot of seed bead patterns to satisfy you on here.
You’ve just seen two of my sautoir or rope length necklace designs. In a style that totally bucks my usual, how about this one? I must have been having a very dark day when I put together this colour scheme. But it’s sultry with a little sparkle and it really works. Of course, you can jazz it up by adding some bolder colour if you want. It also bucks the trend of whimsy. I think you could argue this is a much more classical design. Perhaps even a nod to the 1920s?
About to Launch
Sitting on my beading mat right now is another spectacular sautoir. It mixes loads of seed beads (lovely and traditional and all my favourite rope stitches) with some of the newest shaped beads. I’d just taken delivery of a new set of AVA beads, so I had some fabulous new colours to try. I’ve also added DiamonDuos to the beads I sell. So, this necklace uses both varieties. I thought it’s a good idea if you can buy the materials alongside the pattern. So, having given you that tantalising information, I’m going to keep you in suspense with this…
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