The Meghan Markle-effect isn’t just a flash-in-the-pan but a global phenomenon that’s shaping everything from dresses and cakes to jewellery and headpieces.
The traditional vision of a princess bride, akin to Grace Kelly, Princess Diana and Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, helps to fuel wedding conversations like nothing else.
Now is the time for jewellers to capitalise on these oh-so-important royal conversations and sell their find diamond pieces in the context Meghan’s awe-inspiring big day.
WATCH! The #IJL2018 Royal Wedding Special from Kensington Palace!
For retailers and designer brands, we’ve rounded up the top bridal trends of 2018/2019 inspired by the royal couple. Although some trends have blossomed since Prince Harry popped the question, others are likely to continue to flourish as royal wedding fever takes hold of the next six months.
Bridal Jewellery Trends 2018/2019
Ever since Meghan flashed her three-diamond engagement ring, trilogies have been big news in the fine jewellery sphere. Meghan’s ring is set with a three carat cushion-cut centre stone, flanked by two smaller round-cut diamonds gifted to Prince Harry by Princess Diana.
Unsurprisingly, Meghan’s ring has encouraged brides-to-be to see trilogy rings in a new light, but perhaps the more exciting development is the fancy-cut centre solitaire, which may inspire a whole host of emerald, radiant, marquise, pear, oval and cushion cut designs, set alongside two ‘safer’ round brilliant cuts.
Plus, the heirloom quality of Harry’s bespoke engagement ring design is likely to remind future couples that sentimental stones and jewellery pieces can be repurposed for a new era. You can read more about this on Professional Jeweller.
Return of the Classics
Royal weddings speak of tradition and grandeur, which is why so many classic silhouettes have sped back into fashion in recent months. Think nipped-in waists inspired by 1950s wedding dresses, lace, long veils that skim the floor, lengthy trains and, of course, classic jewellery pieces like diamond stud earrings, tennis bracelets, pearl strands and solitaire pendants.
Claudia Bradby of IJL 2018 exhibitor Claudia Bradby Jewellery is attending the big day and shared this image of her pearl choices on Instagram!
Although Meghan is expected to wear white, the current trend for champagne, pale peach, pink and lilac wedding dresses from the likes of Alice Temperley and Vera Wang should spur excitement among jewellers. Champagne diamonds, pastel shades of soft yellow, hints of pink and soft beige-brown diamonds could signal more adventurous fine and bridal jewellery options heading into autumn. Watch this space!
With royal etiquette typically demanding longer sleeves, higher necklaces and a more modest approach to dressing, statement earrings really have chance to shine. As the summer wedding season approaches, retailers from international fashion brands to bespoke designer-makers may see renewed fervour for their tear-drop, chandelier and sleeper earrings that hint at a bold personality behind a demure dress.
The Contemporary Bride
The fluff of taffeta and lace is contrasted with the elegance of bridal minimalism – think columns of silk skimming the floor without the usual beading, ruffles or sequins. Meghan Markle is expected to veer into this territory, unlike her sister-in-law Catherine, which means equally minimal jewellery is order of the day. Delicate diamond line necklaces, bezel-set diamond bracelets and simple pearls are likely to shine.
Whenever a royal wedding approaches, thoughts turn to tiaras. Although it is unclear whether Meghan will wear a borrowed tiara from a member of the royal family, it is presumed that she will wear some kind of hair adornment. Catherine Middleton wore the Queen’s Cartier Halo Scroll Tiara for her wedding, so perhaps Meghan will follow in her footsteps?
From Catherine Middleton’s blue sapphire to Princess Eugenie’s padparadscha sapphire – coloured gemstones are having a bridal moment. With the tradition for ‘something blue’, subtle cornflower blue sapphire pendants, stud earrings and hair pins are likely to make an appearance on aisles up-and-down the country. The ongoing obsession with pink diamonds at auction is also likely to make pink sapphire designs a coveted wedding day treat for brides.
Advertising your most traditional bridal designs in a host of bespoke colourways will no doubt spur the creativity in customers.
Bows are big news in bridal… and they have been for decades. But what makes them new for 2018 is their sheer scale, with swathes of fabric at the base of the back, the waistline and neckline on couture wedding dresses (look to Viktor & Rolf, Lela Rose, Caroline Herrera and Reem Acra for inspiration).
With predictions flying across every air wave, it’s clear the world is counting down to discover what Meghan and her bridesmaids will wear on May 19. With the wedding expected to kick-off on Saturday at 12pm, the test for jewellers, manufacturers and brands will be how quick they can react, and how accurate their estimates of the market really were.
IJL is #withyou going behind-the-scenes of the most incredible moments in the global calendar. Find out more about What’s On at IJL 2018, visit our Trends Catwalk page, or contact a member of the team to find out more.