Diamonds are forever, or are they? As one of the most coveted gemstones in the world, these precious rocks have a timeless appeal. But in the age of fast fashion, Instagram trends and disruptive costume jewellery labels, there are doubts about the enduring popularity of diamonds. Do women really care about diamonds anymore?

Federica Imperiali, head of new product development at Forevermark, knows a thing or two about what women want, at least when it comes to jewellery. The Milan-based designer has been instrumental in creating the brand’s Red Carpet collection and collaborating with designers like Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Bibhu Mohapatra (who is now working on a second line with the brand). For the last five years, Imperiali has also helped create the brand’s trend forecasts which set the tone for jewellers across the world. “We start a year in advance and look at everything, from society to fashion," says Imperiali about the trend book released twice a year.

The global trends are reimagined locally by Forevermark’s network of retailers. At the Forevermark Forum in Delhi this July, Biren Vaidya, managing director of Mumbai-based Rose jewellers, showcased how his brand had taken inspiration from the stackable jewellery trend to create a line of enamelled and diamond-studded rings. Federica Imperiali, who was part of the global team attending the event, spoke to Lounge about global jewellery trends, Indian women’s love for transformative and everyday jewellery and the most popular cuts and shapes in diamonds today. Edited excerpts.

What are the major trends for Autumn/Winter 2018?

A few things would definitely dominate this season. Geometry and clean lines will be very popular—think bold, contrasting patterns and diamonds of different cuts and shapes paired together so it looks like a mosaic. There’s also a lot of mixing and matching, designs like charms and emphasis on stackable designs. Motifs inspired by nature will also be very popular.

Is there a resurgence of traditional jewellery styles?

Yes, absolutely. One major trend this season is about looking at the past and bringing back forgotten designs. We have identified four areas of inspiration—Egypt, Roman empire, Greece and Marie Antoinette. The Romanic-style jewellery has a lot of shield and warrior motifs while the Greek designs have olive wreath and architectural patterns. Enamelling is big for the Egyptian designs while the Marie Antoinette line captures Renaissance and vintage styles.

India also has a heritage of traditional jewellery…

Yes, and thank God for that! It’s the combination of traditional and modern designs that makes jewellery here unique. Indian history, especially its design and architecture, is a huge source of inspiration for us. Some of our Roman-inspired designs are similar to Indian jewellery.

Do Indian women lean towards any specific kind of jewellery?

I have noticed that Indian women like jewellery that has the ability to be transformed. For instance, a double-layered necklace that can be detached and worn as a bracelet, or stackable rings that they can combine as they like. I think this is in tandem with the evolving personality of Indian women. They are looking for everyday options. Even wedding jewellery is now sometimes composed of small pieces that can be reused.

What kind of shapes and sizes are popular now?

We are promoting a lot of fancy cuts now, though I think round diamonds will continue to be popular. I think the way forward is contrast, like pairing round diamond and princess-cut diamonds. We have also introduced smaller, half-carat diamonds, based on research that women now buy their own jewellery and make their own choices.

What about millennials—reports say they don’t buy diamonds much.

The emerging reality of millennials is that they are open to buying things for themselves, but want to know what lies behind the products. They want to relate to what they buy and make a statement. Millennials are keen to make sure that their choices are ethical, which is also important for us as a diamond brand.

What are some contemporary ways of wearing diamonds?

I wear my diamonds two ways. I prefer subtle pieces for elegant dressing and formal occasions. The more casual the occasion, the bolder my jewellery—cluster or chandelier earrings looks great with jeans and a T-shirt. Contrast looks great—the more the outfit, the less the jewellery.

It’s also great to style your jewellery in new ways. You don’t have to wear a wedding set to weddings only. Diamonds can be experimental too.

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