People often ask designers where they get their inspiration. Sometimes this is just curiosity, sometimes it is in an attempt to learn. Now, inspiration comes from all sorts of places. So, this month, I went looking for some beading inspiration in 2019 fashion trends.
February saw the major catwalk fashion week shows in Paris, London and New York. These showcase the designer outfits for Autumn/Fall 2019. So, as in the beading world, planning ahead is encouraged! Now, if you’re looking for beading inspiration, that happens to be quite handy.
Let’s say you have a craft fair for which you’re planning. You want to know what stock to make and sell. Well, maybe the catwalk is a good place to start. I know most of your customers probably don’t have the income to afford the five-figure price tags of the catwalk samples. But you can bet that the trends they promote will soon make their way onto the high street. Which also means into your customers’ wardrobes.
So, imagine your customer is passing your stall. They see a piece of jewellery that is perfectly suited to their new outfit. Well, surely that’s worth buying isn’t it?
If you think so, then you might want to focus on creating some jewellery that is inspired by the 2019 fashion trends from Fashion Week. So, what are they? Well, this article was one that I referenced when I was looking for the answer to that question.
Now, let me show you how I translated the trends and themes I found into beadwork.
2019 Fashion Trends: Feathers
Now, of all the 2019 fashion trends, feathers might seem like an unlikely inspiration for beading… Or is it…?
My initial thought was, as a material, feathers and beads can’t be more opposite. One is solid, hard and heavy, the other light, soft and ephemeral.
Then, I thought about the kinds of feathers that fashion designers use. Yes, you will see plenty that are literally just coloured feathers. But what about the more realistic feathers? Peacock feathers have to be one of the most distinctive. So, they are perfect for a fashion statement! How about the long tail feathers from a pheasant? I bet you’ve seen them used on the catwalk before.
So, what if you took this literally? Could I replicate one of these feathers in beads? Well, I gave it a try with my peacock feather pendant. Actually, just like the real feather, this beaded version is very tactile. You feel you want to run your fingers through the soft strands that mimic the feather!
If you want to take things a little less literally, then maybe my older projects for Flamingo inspired jewellery will also fit the bill…
Metallic Fabrics in the 2019 Fashion Trends
Well, hooray for that! If the 2019 fashion trends are using metallic fabric, then we have permission to use metallic beads!
Now you can design literally anything using metallic beads. But if you’ve ever tried working with any metallic finishes in the past, you may well have a question. Which metallic finish is best to use?
You see, metallic finishes look glorious in the tube, but they have an unfortunate reputation for not wearing well. Especially, if you go back a few years. Commonly, metallic beads would lose their shine. Possibly, they would even change colour upon contact with the skin. Worst of all, some actually left a rather unattractive metallic finish on your skin. None of these are good traits for making jewellery.
This bracelet combines Duracoat delicas with Swarovski components. Use this link to get a copy of the pattern.
So, I used to resort to silver-lined beads. If you use silver-lined crystal or silver-lined gold, they almost looked like gold or silver. Other metals might be more problematic. I’m not saying that the silver-lined are perfect. In fact, the silver lining can tarnish over time, so your beads lose their shine a little. But the fact that the silver is lining the centre of the beads means it isn’t coming into contact with skin oils which may cause it to damage or rub off.
Then, the Duracoat beads came to my attention. For me, I find that coating really does wear well. So, I’ve used these beads to create several metallic look designs.
The duracoat finish now comes in some more ‘funky’ colours. So, pair traditional silver with deep pink for this bracelet design.
The galvanised metal coatings have always been another option. Personally, I found these didn’t wear so well over time. But as with the duracoat, a lot depends on your skin oil. You may not believe it, but the exact balance of chemicals in each person’s skin is different. So, you may be just fine with a metallic bead finish, while your best friend’s skin changes the bead colour immediately.
Sometimes, the change can even occur as you are beading. So, you will literally see the beads change colour in front of you! Typically, this is a problem with cheaper beads. Remember, these are still pieces of glass. They have just been given a coating to create the appearance of a metallic finish.
Pair gold duracoat delicas with some Swarovski sparkle in my ‘Aslan’ necklace pattern
Yes, if you are feeling rich, you can splash out on precious metal beads. You can get 24k gold delicas if you don’t mind spending somewhat more than your average tube of delicas would cost!
I haven’t actually used any myself…just drooled over them in bead shops…
But whatever you decide, it is a good thing that we have plenty more choice and much higher quality. And don’t forget, metallic beads in any finish have the wonderfully opulent feel that pairs so well with Swarovski crystal…
2019 Fashion Trends: Fluorescent
While we’re on the subject of bead finishes, there is another of the 2019 fashion trends that plays right into that theme. Fluorescents.
Now some people love them, some people hate them, but you’ve probably noticed fluorescent finishes on all sorts of beads. These range from basic seed beads to some of the shaped beads like Rizos, Superduos and GemDuos.
So, why not use this as an excuse to try some out? You may be surprised (even shocked) at just how bright these bead finishes are. So, the trick is to pair them with really deep, dull colours. Then the fluorescent beads just ‘pop’, but don’t overwhelm.
If fluorescent is a step too far for you, maybe just go for some really bright shades instead…
Yellow is also very dominant in the 2019 fashion trends on the catwalk. This ‘Fiesta’ necklace pattern takes full advantage of all those trends!
Animal Prints in 2019 Fashion Trends
Now, although the article I referenced at the beginning, didn’t mention this trend, animal prints are still very much in vogue. So, with that in mind, I rather went to town on my experiments in this area.
As I was thinking about this theme, I also remembered that I have a dress I bought many years ago and haven’t worn for a while. It’s a zebra print in pale blue and brown, with beautiful embroidered flowers across it. So, no, not the kind of dress I would just wear to the supermarket…which is probably why I haven’t worn it for a while.
But this prompted me to create a bracelet to wear with my dress. So, now, with matching jewellery, I have no excuse to leave it hanging in my wardrobe!
Now, this may just be me…but when someone mentions ‘animal print’ and ‘fashion’ together, I immediately think of leopard print. This is the kind of finish that can either look very stylish, or very bad. It totally depends on the design. But it is certainly a style that never really goes away.
So, I decided to experiment with some brick stitch this time. I created a very strong leopard print band that is fun and comfortable to wear. Although I don’t have any leopard print fabric in my clothes, this is actually a great accessory for black or brown. So, I can see this bracelet getting plenty of wear.
‘In for a penny, in for a pound’, as they say. Why stop at just two animal prints? I decided to try tiger stripes and giraffe print as well. I turned all four of my animal print designs into simple beaded beads. String them together and you have a wrap around bracelet that is perfect for a safari.
What would you do with the 2019 fashion trends?
I actually surprised myself with this project. I didn’t expect to find quite so much different inspiration from the 2019 fashion trends on the catwalk.
Now, I would be the first to admit that I’m not an avid follower of fashion. So, I’m not sure what prompted me to read the Fashion week reviews this year. But I’m jolly glad that I did.
This has proved to be a very fruitful source of inspiration for beading projects. So, maybe I should make this a regular thing!
Let me know how this has inspired you, in the comments below.