To borrow from the going lingo, jewelry should make a statement this fall. It shouldn't look cowering or meek.
And when 350 booths of baubles make statements simultaneously, the result can be a din. Sensory overload time.
The recent Los Angeles Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Show at the L.A. Convention Center displayed everything from paper boas called "tropical furs" to sunglasses equipped with flashing lights.
"You just wear them, walk around and look goofy," instructed sunglasses manufacturer Tom Kumar. "They sell great in Las Vegas."
There were tasteful gold hoops and chains, nostalgic Art Deco reproductions and even traditional Spanish bangles from a 23-member contingent making its first stab at the U.S. marketplace.
Each manufacturer paid $600 for space in the show, organized by Allied Resources of Glendale.
Ed Rosenberg specialized in rainbow-colored titanium. The Boca Raton, Fla., jeweler brought necklaces, earrings, scarfs and even a shimmering top that looked like the one he claims singer Tina Turner bought.
Rosenberg, whose company is called Spectore, also demonstrated how to zap titanium with electric currents for prism-like colors.
"It's light as aluminum, but harder than steel," he said. "It's bulletproof. And it doesn't gather barnacles."
One aisle away, Carolyn Carpenter of San Pedro talked up her paper jewelry. The artist folds decorated paste paper into earrings and broaches. They were shaped like tiny fans, kites, kimonos and even "Zen cookies" stuffed with fortunes. Just designing the jewelry, she said, "is very calming and meditative."
Less philosophical, perhaps, but more in sync with the season, were the heavy hoop earrings, bracelets and snake chokers of Debra Fine Yohai. The designer said her latest passion is oxidized brass, patina, which has the turquoise cast of the Statue of Liberty.
Yohai said her large pieces are worn most effectively one at a time--not in a scramble of overkill.
Kaycee Hale, a Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising staffer, agreed jewelry of "massive proportions" will look best this fall. She said items like a huge oblong or thunderbolt pin will complement the season's narrow, sculptured clothes.
Hale, who gave a seminar at the show, also predicted a run on burnished metals and silver, as well as strands of pearls mixed with metal links and large colored stones for a takeoff on Chanel.
Throughout the show, one criterion held. As organizer Beth Ulman said after seeing the flashing sunglasses with slits covering the eyes: "I wasn't sure how you see though them. But they make a statement."