When we look at jewelry trends today, every piece can somehow be traced back to previous decades. It is a slight alikeness in style and the use of materials. A decade is also a long span of time, but each one is characterised and remembered best by that one distinct look. This is a learning experience, perhaps a reminiscent one for some.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact jewelry trends for every decade; 10 years is enough to change the face of fashion and the same can be said for jewelry. The following images are meant to give a brief overview of the predominant fashion styling, jewelry and accessories that were popular to the respective decades.
The 20’s were smeared in Art Deco style luxury. The image on the left is from the movie The Great Gatsby. If you recal, the economic boom of this period provoked lavish spendings and women were exceptionally dressed and glamorized. During this period, the common trends were geometric pendants, pearls and diamonds. Costume jewelry was also popular.
The pearls were something that everyone needed at that time, but there was a problem, not all girls could buy necklaces with authentic pearls, that’s why they bought the ones that looked real, but in reality they were fake. To this day, pearls are still used by many women.
Art Deco style began to fade, the fashion industry spotlight was on America where women were influenced by the Hollywood glamour. During this time, plastic was introduced as a material for jewelry, along with moonstones and other inexpensive gems that imitated the real deal.
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The image on the left is a window display from a few years ago. It captures the spirit of the decade – an intrepretation of the time period in an installation piece.
Several artists experimented with materials in the design of jewelry: glass, copper, alloy, paper, paint, wood, among others. A great example of the creations of that time, are the necklaces with different shapes of flowers. As we see it in the photo of Lucille Ball.
This decade was dominated by glamour and diamonds. Interestingly, it started with the ad campaign “A Diamond is Forever” by De Beers Diamond Company. Thousands of American women were convinced they NEEDED a diamond engagement ring. Of course, the Hollywood scene was dripping in diamonds alongsidethe trend.
Necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings were becoming larger and extravagant. And they not only used diamonds for the creation of such jewelry; white and yellow gold, precious stones and pearls, were also the protagonists of that time.
The 1950s sparked a new wave in the fashion industry, one that was much more liberal, with more choice than ever before. The styling choices were kept at an ultimately sophisticated level. Jewelry sets were popular with the women that excentuated their femininity and the matching jewelry gave a more ”put together” look. Other trends varied from the classic pearls to shimmering brooches. Think ultra feminine glamour here.
Believe it or not, the elegance of simple pearls was something that every girl wanted to have. This time with a sober design, but it made thousands of girls feel like a real lady. Take a look at how well Connie Francis looks with her pearls.
Functionality and practicality was the next big thing. Plastic jewelry became popular because of the variety and possibilities of shapes and colors. Plastic jewelry was inexpensive to make, judging by the images from the time you can see a shift in trends and stylying. Bold jewelry pieces and bright colors was the go-to look. Layered necklaces, stacked rings and bangles. The 60s was also marked by the rise in handmade accessories, peace signs, flowered patterns and psychedelic colors. Yes, it was the hippie invasion.
A great example of the fashion evolution is this photo of Twiggy with earrings of different size, design and color. With this, we realize that fashion was a cry of freedom.
The same attitude swept into the next decade, the bold jewelry pieces were toned down. Darker colors emerged and beaded jewelry became the next big thing. On the runways, large golden earrings were popular. If you look at 70s inspired fashion collections today, you will always spot a few of those. Other trends were mixing materials, hemp and leather, metals.
And how to forget the boho style? Those were the days, where the girls wanted to have something in boho style. Rachel Welch shows us how beautiful this style was and how well it looked.
The 80’s was a time when fashion excentuated the big and beautiful; from hairstyles to exaggerated clothing items. Large and bold was a characteristic of the jewelry scene as well. DIY punk rock look was popular, as seen below. Mixing and matching was a way to personalize your jewelry choices instead of being matchy with everything. The delicate, elegant and minimal necklaces were replaced with oversized ones that made a statement, the same goes for earrings and other jewelry items.
The business style was also marked by large jewelry with designs that didn’t make sense, but this had an advantage: it helped to highlight the beauty of the era. In the picture below we can see a clear example of this style; Large earrings with a strong color, making the beautiful face of Brooke Shields have all our attention.
The 90’s was a fun decade. Remember these? The choker necklaces, and the jelly bracelets! I personally owned a million mood rings because they were ”cool”. I also remember other goofy trends like alien rings, butterfly chokers, yin and yang everywhere for no reason whatsoever. Hemp and beads and flowers. It was colorful (and tacky)!
There’s a clear trend of the 90’s that has taken our hearts over the last two years: chokers. There are people who hate this trend, but to me it seems perfect to get a wild and rebellious style.
I stop here because history has the tendency to repeat itself. These trends, styles and color variations all get recycled in the fashion industry. If anything, any images from the past 2 decades could easily be traced to one of the above examples. Although we do have extremely innovated pieces shown on the runways every year, I can’t tell you what characterizes the new millenium. If you can answer that question, you can leave your thoughts and comments in the box below 🙂
See you soon!