Clinking cocktail glasses, roaring jazz bands and beaded flapper dresses are the first images that come to mind when someone mentions Art Deco, but what does Art Deco actually mean?
The Art Deco movement was one of the 20th Centuries greatest eras, often referred to as the period between 1920s - 1930s. During these years huge changes around the world were occurring, influencing the style of everything at the time, including jewellery. During an era of economic turmoil the Art Deco movement created luxury and exuberance, offering a source of escapism for those affected by war, politics and poverty.
After the Victorian and Edwardian eras, influenced by nature, organic forms and curving lines, the Art Deco movement was like nothing seen before, think minimalistic, modern, sleek and structured. Everything from cars, furniture and buildings were all being designed with this new look in mind. The latest techniques and advancements in industrial materials also helped to influence the styles of the period.
In particular, jewellery saw a huge shift in design, Yellow Gold was no longer a popular choice and Platinum and White Gold were now in vogue. As the cutting of diamonds was also evolving, designs for engagement rings with stepped shoulders and square settings were at the height of fashion. Intricate mill grain beading and engraving can often be seen on Art Deco pieces, a nod to the hand manufacture of these pieces and still at a time before mass production was the norm.
The biggest legacy left by the Art Deco era is that even today these designs are sought after and replicated. The timeless and quality designs of the time continue to influence designers and artists to this very day and it continues to be one of the most sought after styles of jewellery.
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