Each outfit requires jewellery pieces to act as accessories Variety is the mot du jour within the fashion jewellery industry, as consumers stop thinking of jewellery as one-of-a-kind signature pieces and are instead looking for a range of styles to suit their ever-shifting moods. 'It is becoming increasingly hard to pin down specific trends within the jewellery industry,' said Letitia Chow Mei-lai, director of business development (jewellery group) of CMP Asia. 'People don't agonise over designing the perfect custom-made piece anymore. Instead, they view jewellery pieces as accessories that must be changed accordingly with each outfit.' She said that for modern generations, fashion jewellery had become more of an emotional rather than a rational product, one that was meant to be reflective of the wearer's personality or character. 'To begin with, you never need a piece of jewellery, you want it,' she said. 'In this way, emotion becomes the primary motivator behind each purchase.' As the gap between fine jewellery and fashion jewellery widens, the rising demand for the latter is evident in the sheer size of the international trade fair held at AsiaWorld-Expo this month.The June edition of Asia's Fashion Jewellery and Accessories Fair begins today and will continue until Sunday. Showcasing over 510 exhibitors from 26 countries and regions, the fair will showcase everything from belts, handbags and wallets, to enamel jewellery, gemstones and even gift boxes. The fair will also recognise skilled designers in the fashion jewellery design sector with its third Asian Fashion Jewellery and Accessories Design Competition. Celine Lau Siu-man, director of jewellery fairs at CMP Asia, said that the company intended to 'raise the level of design in Asia'. Attracting more than 200 entries, the contest is divided into the Amazing Group and the Crystal Group. The former allows all fashion jewellery materials to be used in designing the collection, while the latter requires that crystal be used as the major element in the design. The winners will be honoured at a cocktail reception tonight and receive a monetary scholarship. Lao Jie-fang, gold award winner in the Crystal Group, said that her winning design 'Shadow', which consisted of a necklace and matching earrings, was inspired by the traditional Chinese art of paper cutting. The intricacy of the art was brought out by her delicate design, which made use of clothing material and even tablecloths along with Swarovski crystals. 'I wanted to show the versatility of crystal in jewellery design,' she said. Swarovski will also hold its Elements jewellery platform for the second time at the fair, and guests will be provided with the history of the brand's renowned crystals and new products and information on the Spring/Summer 2009 looks. Priscilla Choi, communications manager at Swarovski in Hong Kong, said that the themes for the coming year would be 'Meadow', with green and sunlight shades, 'Traveller', with its ethnic orange hues, 'Gypsy Rose', in mauve tints, 'Savannah', with its browns and creams, and the deep blues of 'Pacific'. The brand embraced these themes for their ties to nature, in response to global issues regarding climate change, sustainability and ethical trading.