With the release of The Great Gatsby back in 2014, the popularity of Downton Abbey and the wonderful show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, it was no surprise that the ‘Roaring 20’s’ and prohibition style parties had a come back. Suddenly I was going to a work function where they shut down one of the biggest venues in New Zealand to sneak in the back for a Prohibition party. 1920’s LARP’s were cycling around again and the demand for that style of jewellery started to increase.
So what exactly should you be looking for if you are looking to complete your perfect 1920’s outfit?
In the 1920’s both hair and dresses became shorter. The styles were influenced by the art at the time, surrealism and Art Deco were powerful influences and colour schemes and styles were often pulled from that.
To start your 1920’s jewellery influence let’s start with one of the most famous wearable item of the time, beaded, or pearl, necklaces. Worn long and often layered in a colour palette pulled directly from Art Deco itself, blacks, reds, greens and whites, being of strong prominence. At this time cheaper plastic beads were entering the fold making these affordable for everyone to wear. With certain outfits necklines were high at the front, but low at the back, this meant that necklaces were drapped down the front in layers, or a single necklace with a tassel or gemstone could be worn backwards, dangling down the back and creating a new way to wear jewellery and allowing women to add emphasis the skin on show.
Bangles were suddenly huge, the idea of wearing one simple bracelet on your wrist was taken over by the idea of stacking. Add bright colours, thick bangles, and art deco designs on your bangle and you have a winning combination. They do not need to match your outfit, this was not something that was always considered when paring jewellery to a dress, but they should at least match the other jewellery. If this is not the kind of style you wish to go for, you cannot go wrong with pearls, a layered pearl bracelet looks gorgeous with a string or two of pearls.
With the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb Egyptian styles were all the range still, carrying on some of the style from the Victorian era. Add a little chunk to the design and some art deco influence and you have a wonderful piece to show off your 1920’s style.
With the fashion for short hair women’s necks were suddenly very much on show, and long, dangling earrings became fashionable on an evening out, allowing a woman to draw attention to her neck and adding more drama and movement to an outfit. Pulling in the art deco colours and maybe adding a matching brooch to your hat (not worn on the blouse or the dress really at this time). If the hair style covers one of your ears one long earring was often worn.
To complete your outfit add a simple art deco ring, a large stone, maybe a birthstone, oval shaped or square cut and you are accessorized and ready to bring together your 1920’s outfit, for your costume party, larp or theatre group. Have fun.