Whenever we take a look at jewellery today, each piece can somehow be traced back to past fashion tendencies. There is a great similarity in the style and the use of the materials. Each decade of the past century left a distinguishable footprint that is still a source of unlimited inspiration to the contemporaries.
Here is a rough outline of the fashion tendencies for each one of the decades of the 20th century. Maybe you can spot some interesting similarities with some of the items you own!
During the second decade there was a favour towards what is known as Art Deco, a style originating in France before the World War I. Due to the economic boom of this period, the style speaks luxury and glamour. Geometric shapes, pearls and diamonds were very commonly used.
During the 30’s people started to lean towards the Hollywood style. During this period, glass, wood, plastic was becoming popular materials for jewellery, along with inexpensive gems that imitated the real ones.
During the 40’s Hollywood became fond of diamonds, right when the “De Beers Diamond Company” made an ad for their diamonds with the slogan “Diamonds are forever”. Glamour was once again the main theme of the decade.
The 50’s were a lot more liberal, with much more choices than in the past. The era after the World War II was a turning point for fashion, that wanted to break away from the past. The styling choices were quite sophisticated. Pearls or faux pearls were the preferred necklace of the time. Plastic pop beads were a favourite accessory. Slim wrist watches and subdued rings, along with clip-on earrings, were conservative and elegant.
The 60s were marked by the popularity of handmade accessories, flower designs and bold jewellery and bright colours. Plastic jewellery came into common use due to the variety and possibilities of colours and shapes. A universal, colourful, peaceful look was the goal during these times, with the legendary Woodstock Festival of 69 being the result of the general tendency of the decade, but also the point of transition to the next.
People were after a hippie chic, glam rock perhaps even the punk look, and experimenting and mixing materials was on the rise. A similar character was maintained from the 60’s, though the bold jewellery pieces were a bit less popular. Deeper colours were now in favour and beaded jewellery had become extremely popular as well as those large golden ear-rings which were something of a must have.
The 80’s were known as the decade of exaggeration. From extreme hairstyles to funky jewellery and clothes. Choices were much more personalized and people aimed at making a statement. The DIY punk rock style was prominent and the neon lights were shinning everywhere.
During the 90’s the anti-conformist tendency that emerged with the popularity of grunge and alternative rock music resulted to the popularisation of the casual look. The choker became a favourite accessory, together with the mood rings and anklets. Smiley face motifs and yin yang were among the most iconic trends.