Monday, January 20, 2014
History is a personal interest, pure and simple. But it isn’t my only interest – jewelry takes a close (and sometimes surpassing) second. Luckily for me, I have a job that revolves around jewelry. I work for a company that creates enthusiast products, and during my year and a half with the company have learned countless new techniques.
When my two passions converge, it is definitely a good day in my camp. Fortunately, my wonderful editors recently created a project eBook that pulls from the Downton Abbey period (Edwardian, WWI, and soon to be depression) to create inspired jewelry designs. Then, another editor decided to issue a challenge to create a fashionable necklace that fits the time period to feature on her blog. Since I super big fan of the show, and I was itching to create my own Edwardian trend, I decided to bust out my pliers and create my own necklace design.
But in true fashion, I also wanted to research the time period and see what history had to say about the jewelry during the Edwardian era. The Edwardian era got it’s name from the English King Edward VII who reigned from 1901-1910. I found it interesting to learn that this was the last period that was named after a British monarch.
Unlike Art Nouveau, Victorian, or the Arts and Craft movement, the design of Edwardian jewelry was understated, and very feminine in style. Almost overnight, jewelry went from being large and ornate to light and airy in design. Pearls, diamonds, gold, and other precious metals were favored in use.
But I learned that the hallmark of Edwardian jewelry was the use of platinum. Unlike before, this was one of the first times this metal was used widely, and the strength and durability of the metal allowed jewelers to create light, intricate designs with lace-like appearances. Circa 1910, the changing necklines that were fashionable left little room for brooches, giving way to necklace’s popularity. And as white became a more popular color in fashion, pearls gained popularity.
Earrings also had a special place during the Edwardian period. While they started the century as studs, longer light earrings began to be favored.
Honestly, I found a great website that details the styles and trends of jewelry during the Edwardian period, including rings, tiaras, and other hot jewelry styles in detail. If you want to learn more check it out!
I had so much fun researching the trends and being inspired to create my own lightweight necklace design. With pearls, sparkling crystals, and filigree flower, any stylish lady could wear the long necklace I created.