A current online search for “jewelry trends” will render pictures of large cocktail rings, dramatic deco earrings and rose unique gold rings women pieces. But just because these trends are modern doesn’t mean they’re new. If there’s one thing people in the industry can agree on, it’s that fashion goes in cycles. Current trends are often recycled or reinvented from past decades, and that includes accessories.
So where do current jewelry designers get their inspiration? Most likely from ancient beginnings, but for brevity’s sake, we’ll take a look at jewelry styles from the last century.
The 1920s: Art Deco
If you’ve seen The Great Gatsby, you’ve seen the glamorous jewelry of the 1920s. The economic boom after World War I encouraged wealthy people to spend lavishly, and Art Deco style embodied luxury. Geometric pendants, strands of pearls, fashion earrings for women and diamonds were seen on stylish ladies. This is the time when costume jewelry became very popular in the US since women didn’t always want to go out wearing such expensive pieces.
The 1930s: All American
Jewelry was toned down in the 1930s as America went back to war and Art Deco style began to fade. Its influence could still be seen, however, in the clothing and accessories women wore. Since many European jewelers were shut down, jewelry took on a more American look. The fashion industry was influenced by what women wore on the big screen, hence the phrase “Old Hollywood glamour.” A multi gem bracelet for women would have been a popular choice.
In the 1930s, plastic was mixed in with jewelry’s natural materials. Moonstones and other inexpensive gems were popular, and imitation gems were often used.
The 1940s: Shine Bright Like a Diamond
This was an interesting decade. Due to the changing economy and social dynamic, fashion and jewelry trends were constantly changing as well. Then, in the late 1940s, De Beers Diamond Company launched an intensive campaign to sell diamonds. With the slogan “A Diamond is Forever,” they convinced thousands of American women that they needed diamond engagement rings. Hollywood starlets were soon seen dripping with diamonds as well.
The 1950s: Sleek, Slender Elegance
Fashion in the 1950s varied greatly from beginning to end, and that included jewelry. People were beginning to feel a bit more free when it came to their style choices. Women wore outfits that showed off their narrow waistlines, gravitating toward ultra-feminine fashions. While jewelry varied from classic pearls to shimmering brooches, the idea was to add sophistication to every outfit. Many women wore matching jewelry sets in order to look perfectly put together.
The 1960s: Go-Go Chic
Practicality and functionality came into play during this decade. Plastic jewelry became popular because of its low cost and variety of colors and shapes. Streamlined design and bright pops of color became the go-to look. Bold stacks of bangles unique gold rings women and layered necklaces became women’s accessories of choice.
The rise of the hippie movement and the boycott of corporate America brought the rise of homemade and Native American inspired pieces, psychedelic colors and swirls, peace signs, flower jewelry and macramé pieces. Handmade accessories were all the rage, and were especially popular.
The 1970s: Feelin’ Groovy
The carefree, lighthearted attitude that swept the 1970s swept the fashion scene as well with bold yet minimal jewelry pieces. Darker, understated colors began to emerge, and beaded jewelry rose to the forefront of fashion. Hemp and leather were mixed in with metals, giving the pieces a more organic and natural look. Large, ornate gold earrings for women were popular, a trend that is being spotted on the runways this year as we see another 70s fashion revival.
The 1980s: Material Girl
During this decade, big was beautiful. From hairstyles to shoulder pads, everything was large and bold. To match the vibrant fashion trends, jewelry was large, bright and distinctive. Jelly bracelets, large earrings and beaded necklaces replaced tiny and discrete necklaces and pendants. Oversized hoop earrings were the most coveted items in a jewelry collection.
The 1980s also saw a return of celebrating individual style. As the DIY punk rock look rose to fame, more women chose to mix and match or go for vintage pieces instead of sporting matching sets.
The 1990s: Girls Just Want to Have Fun
In the era of slap bracelets and butterfly clips, it’s hard to imagine the jewelry industry taking anything seriously during this time. Indeed, the pieces from the 90s had a more fun vibe than other decades―butterfly chokers, yin yang symbols and alien rings dominated the teen scene for the first half of the 90s. Hemp and beads returned from the 1970s, and colorful designs were everywhere. The 1990s was a spirited time for fashion and jewelry trends, and even fancier pieces were adorned with flowers and dragonflies.
The 2000s: The New Millennium
Since the dawn of the new century, we’ve seen a lot of recycled designs and vintage inspired styles. Large hoop earrings, layered necklaces, unique gold rings women, and bling rings were spotted early on with modern day style icons like Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone, and they continue to be popular today. The last two decades have shown us, perhaps more than any other, that history always repeats itself.
Luckily, when it comes to jewelry, this is a good thing.