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Fashion Trends 2004

Accessories and Jewellery

By Pauline Weston Thomas for



Accessories and Jewellery


Accessories - Bags

Textured leathers will be the accessory fashion trend statement of 2004.  Crocodile, lizard and alligator super deluxe leathers and effect materials will feature strongly on both bags and shoes.  Shoes, bags and garments from treated leathers, unusually made from salmon skins will become status symbols.  Texture will continue through to cowhide bags, Macramé hand and shoulder bags and mixed macramé with faceted bead bags of the late 60’s style will add variety.

Already visible in 2003, by 2004 coloured fashion handbags will become usual again as bags of all colours from mauves to chartreuse are used to provide chic statement looks to a more casually dressed consumer.  Many people will focus on purchasing bags in the way they once did with more dressy clothes, developing a bag wardrobe for all occasions as this can be an instantly obvious status or brand symbol.

Mobile phones will merge into the outer construction of bags.  A much neglected consumer need will be fulfilled by innovative accessory companies that at long last produce bags with an outside pocket specifically for easy access to mobile phones. These mobile pockets will be positioned stylishly somewhere on the outside of the bag or handle for instant access.

Paying homage to vintage fashion, 2004 will see even more embellishment on fashion bags than in recent years.  Bags will be embellished with butterflies, edelweiss, feathers, motor bike straps, stabbed with decorative applied brooches and finished with chunky short shoulder chain straps.

Evening bags of gold, silver or gunmetal kid will be stitched over in a patchwork of metallic woven braids.  The braids will have Tyrolean, Ikat or Indian traditional designs that have roses or geometric mirror image kaleidoscopic elements

Silk foulard, Pucci style pattern print reticule style handbags for evening with bead short shoulder straps and finished at the extremes with bead tassels will compliment vintage looks.

Round hard case like vanity bags decorated in spots, stripes and in strong primary and secondary solid colours that make the item part of the outfit will also appear as a bucket bag version. 

Decorative wardrobe bags will emerge in 2004.  An interesting aspect of bags for 2004 will be decorative wardrobe bags that double as furnishing accessories and can be used for both travel and storage.  These will be used by consumers to store favourite special garments, footwear and accessories.  Such bags will be displayed like clothes on hangers in stores.


Other Accessories

Gloves will be an important accessory and fascinate a whole generation unfamiliar with wearing them.  1960’s keyhole inspired gloves in light fabrics make girly summer wear as do button and strap trimmed gloves in pastel leathers and lace fabrics.  Longer length gloves, covered with cuff bracelets in the mode of Breakfast at Tiffany style will have a place worn with three quarter or elbow length sleeves.

For the first time in years umbrellas of 2004 become an interesting accessory again with glorious printed patterns.

Cartoon print and circus print head squares in silk with a hand painted linear look to the designs make an appearance.   The head square gains favour again as the more dated elongated scarves of recent years begin to look tired.

Shoes of every hue will once again adorn the shoe racks of 2004.  Every woman will want to make simple jeans look special with desirable shoes.

Spiky slingbacks and stiletto shoes and boots with elongated pointed or chisel toed front uppers will be made for showing off in rather than walking far.  In contrast round toed flats will be adorned with pompoms, rosebud trims, grosgrain bows and Tyrolean ribbons.  Materials like silver kid and alligator with velvet or crushed velvet linings add luxury touches to grown up footwear.

Boots with biker straps will feature heavily throughout 2004.  Boots with a line of repeating bondage biker bar straps with buckles, eyelet lacing or a line of contrast covered buttons will adorn many legs.  On the practical side flat biker boots and moon boots will be a modern version of Courrèges style boots to wear with shorter dresses.

Tasteful, well designed patchwork leather boots that follow a pattern such as zig zags rather than random patches will allow consumers to buy boots with elements of rarer materials.



Natural looking ethnic inspired jewellery will often complement the rustic textures of cotton and linen washed fabrics prevalent throughout 2004. 

Ethnic prints on linen will be complemented by earthy ethnic jewellery showing evidence of Africa, the Saharan Desert, Nepal and South Western silver.  Mediterranean style chunky necklaces of the sort often seen in shops like those found in Valldemosa in Mallorca will mix well with the natural fabrics look giving consumers a chic well groomed thought out finish.

Chandelier style earrings of every description say 2004
for both day and night.  Often with a Vintage/antique look in every stone from pearl to turquoise to Venetian glass these chandelier style earrings will reach new lengths.  Black enamel mixed with diamante in art deco chandelier styles will look good with the op art inspired prints.

Tribal art will move off the body into jewellery designs.  Earrings, necklaces, dog collars and pendants made in the designs of ethnic and spiky tribal art tattoos will feature black diamond pavé.  Some designs will be based on reptiles like miniature lizards.

Over sized pendants say 2004.  Very large pendants will look good with sixties inspired dresses and appeal to all age groups.  Any motif can be made into a pendant.  The main feature will be that they are quite large and bold in contour from 2 to 3 inches or so.

Collarettes of very innovative modern designs as well as those in the Bulgari choker style, contrast with motor bike strap bondage dog collars.

Earthy looks for 2004 abound as satin, suede, leather and rustic beads are all contrasted.  Satinised yarns will help create knotted neck accessories in dog collar styles. Sometimes they will be made with leather suede thong and mixed in with earthy ethnic beads that look heavy and dense.

Watch trends of 2004 seen in high fashion magazines, will quickly be translated by mass market watch manufacturers as consumers seek a wardrobe of watches in the same way that consumers desire a wardrobe of jeans or shoes for different occasions.  Moiré and mother of pearl pastel watch faces in colours like pink and aqua and agate will also capture an iridescent feel.  Bolder watch faces with diamante decoration and Gucci style bangle watches will become more available as consumers seek imitation at affordable prices.

Deep cuff bracelets worn with three quarter and bracelet length seven eight sleeves continue to feature all through 2004.  Very wide cuff bracelets about 3 inches deep made from pearls, gemstones or Venetian glass using the colours of amethyst, pink or yellow stones, amber and green hues will be a smart fashion accessory that is easy for any age to wear and feel fashionable.  Black onyx bracelets will complement many of the black and cream looks.

Soon large oversized knuckle duster rings, with strong 60’s and 70’s influence, will fascinate a generation unfamiliar with them.

In Estate Style precious stone jewellery stardust, moon dust and satin finishes on silver and gold jewellery will complement the delicate sparkling new linen fabric finishes.  Stardust, moon dust and satin finishes on silver give silver a boost making it appear more expensive looking.

Hair slides in these satin and stardust finishes will become popular as will life size fake flowers made from coloured leathers and added to hairpins.  The leather flowers may also be used as brooch decoration or attached to pearl necklaces or pearl belts to make innovative fashion statements.

In 2004 costume jewellery will go wild, picking up on pearl and diamante and coloured stone large brooch trends from the 50s and 80s.  Wearing costume jewellery will be made easier by the promise of belts made from plaited crystal or diamante strands combined with motorbike belt and buckle elements that marry rock with glamour.

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