Influences on Style During the 1920s
The 1920s were a time of revolution in all aspects of fashion and culture. We all know the archetypal 1920s images of flapper girls with their short hair, drop waisted dresses and long, plunging necklaces.
The major change that took place during this decade was that fashion was suddenly seen through the perspective of the artist. This, naturally, added dimension of creativity to outfits. It was the first time that clothing and accessories – particularly for women – were created without the primary concerns of practicality and flattery. 1920s fashion was centered around the interplay of length, pleating and proportions. There was a lot of focus on the shape and movement of clothing.
The fashion for short, gamine haircuts resulted in a trend towards long and dangling earrings. These earrings often featured detailed filigree designs, making the most out of earrings as an accessory. Earrings became a statement piece in their own right; no longer an afterthought as an accompaniment to a necklace or brooch.
Long, pendulous earrings were especially popular for formal occasions such as weddings. Pearl earrings, another popular choice, are also incredibly evocative of the era. Pearl drop earrings- such as our pair here at AC Silver- are still perfect for a modern wedding, while invoking the style of the 1920s Art Deco era.
Styles of 1920s Earrings
Art Deco is the main style trend that prevailed throughout the 1920s. The name Art Deco is an abbreviation from an exposition held in Paris demonstrating art, architecture and culture from around the world. It was called the Exposition Nationale des Art Decoratifs in 1925. This was to become the seminal artistic movement which would define the style of the era.
One of the main influences on 1920s jewellery was the archaeological expeditions which happened during this era. One of these was the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun- after this. the whole world became obsessed with all things concerning ancient Egypt. This manifested itself in jewellery design with an abundance of yellow gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise and Egyptian motifs such as scarab beetles, the eye of Horus, lotus blossoms and pyramids.
The discovery of a large diamond mine in South Africa made diamonds more affordable and plentiful, however they were still a sign of wealth and prosperity. Diamonds were- however- reserved for night time and formal occasions only. It was considered vulgar and gauche to wear diamonds during the daytime.
Instead, during the day semi-precious stones such as jade, turquoise, onyx and carnelian were preferred, usually in silver coloured castings. If sterling silver was too expensive, zinc, silver plate or nickel would be used. Yellow gold was rarely worn except for in Egyptian reproduction jewellery.
1920s Art Deco earrings were primarily worn to make a statement. Whether they were 1920s stud earrings or long, dangling earrings- these pieces were made and worn to be noticed. You’ll notice that geometric shapes and patterns are prominent throughout the Art Deco period; check out our blog to learn why we are so drawn to geometric jewellery.
Jodie Smith – Copywriter
Jodie joined AC Silver in 2016 as a copywriter after completing a degree in English Literature, possessing a passion for jewellery and unusual antiquities combined with an interest in blogging.