As you know, I LOVE fashion. The fall is a great kick off for any fashion lover: Fashion Week in New York, September Vogue and, of course here in LA, The Emmys! This gave me the opportunity to catch up with my friend, style expert and celebrity stylist Michael O’Connor, who was in town doing commentary on the event, but also helping lots of celebrities to look their stylish-best on the red carpet with the hottest jewelry trends!
One of the things that I’m always fascinated with is the “magic” of accessories, how you can take the most inexpensive and simple outfits and give them new and dramatic life simply by changing your accessories. Think about that go-everywhere little black dress. Everyone has one! If you’re like me, you have a couple! It can look totally different simply by changing up the belt, adding a hat or layering on the right jewelry!
Michael’s been working in the fashion industry for over 25 years and started out as an accessories designer. We sat down to talk about fashion and how accessories play a key role in every look. His philosophy is that your look is your daily “gift” to the world. Clothing is like the wrapping paper, but accessories are the bow and ribbon that make the gift most appealing. I never thought of it that way!
“Color is one of the most important elements of fashion right now”, Michael says. “Designers are using lot’s of great color in their collections, as well as mixing a variety of prints for effect.” Personally, I’m a big fan of all the color that we’re seeing right now. Michael explains, “When it comes to accessories a great way to create pop and interest is contrast. For example, if you have a magenta dress, don’t default to black or white, pop the outfit with accessories in turquoise”. Here are some great pieces with color that he showed me:
Another trend he sees is that clothing designers are adding size and dimension to ornamentation. “Fringes are becoming longer, ruffles larger and buttons and zippers big and important parts of the design”, he says. I’ve actually noticed this on a couple of Victoria Beckham dresses that I have! “What that means”, he adds, “is that jewelry and accessories need to become larger and more important in size in order to compete and stand out. If jewelry is not in proportion, it looks diminutive and like an afterthought”. Some examples of bolder fashion pieces that he showed me are these:
By now, of course, I’m swooning on all this accessory talk, and of course, the jewelry that I’ve been trying on is nothing to sneeze at either!!! So I had to ask Michael, “What’s the one big jewelry trend that you’re most excited about and what will we start to see more of?” Without hesitation he answers, “One of the best trends that I’m LOVING, is the return of the statement necklace. For many years people seemed to be afraid of wearing a major necklace. Thankfully things are changing and we’re seeing more of them. Large necklaces are starting to be worn more often by women all over the country. Of course, here in Hollywood, it’s got to have a ‘wow’ factor to get noticed.”
Michael reaches into a drawer and pulls out a large velvet box and opens it revealing one of the most spectacular necklaces I’ve ever seen.“This one has over 76 carats of diamonds! It brings to mind iconic celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly. Of course, not every necklace needs to be this precious but making a statement is the key,” he concludes.
Later, he confided in me that the necklace was $1 million dollars!!!! Well, I guess it makes sense – he was here for the Emmys! Personally, I can’t wait to get home and start trying things on with these new trends in mind. What do you think about the return of the statement necklace?